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rois·​ter ˈrȯi-stər How to pronounce roister (audio)
: one that roisters : roisterer


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roistered; roistering ˈrȯi-st(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce roister (audio)

intransitive verb

: to engage in noisy revelry : carouse
dressed and ready for a roistering night in town Sherwood Anderson
roisterer noun
roisterous adjective
roisterously adverb

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Did you know?

Roisterer vs Hooliganism

Roister is related to French ruste, meaning "rude" or "rough." That word comes from the fairly neutral Latin rusticus, meaning "rural." Originally, the English verb was simply roist, and one who roisted was a roister. Those words are no longer used; instead, we have the verb roister, and the corresponding noun roisterer.

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Example Sentences

Verb the earl's wastrel son had spent the best part of his youth roistering and gambling
Recent Examples on the Web
One of his sons, Thomas (Dean-Charles Chapman), though hardly old enough to be in long pants, wears shining armor, while the other son, Hal (Timothée Chalamet), is a slouch who wastes his life in roistering. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 4 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'roister.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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Word History



Middle French rustre lout, alteration of ruste, from ruste, adjective, rude, rough, from Latin rusticus rural — more at rustic

First Known Use


1549, in the meaning defined above


1663, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of roister was in 1549


Dictionary Entries Near roister

Cite this Entry

“Roister.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2022.

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