rois·​ter | \ ˈrȯi-stər How to pronounce roister (audio) \

Definition of roister

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: one that roisters : roisterer


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

Definition of roister (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to engage in noisy revelry : carouse dressed and ready for a roistering night in town— Sherwood Anderson

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Other Words from roister


roisterer \ ˈrȯi-​stər-​ər How to pronounce roisterer (audio) \ noun
roisterous \ ˈrȯi-​st(ə-​)rəs How to pronounce roisterous (audio) \ adjective
roisterously adverb

Synonyms for roister

Synonyms: Verb

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Roisterer vs Hooliganism


As British writer Hugo Williams asserted in The Times Literary Supplement (November 15, 1991), roistering tends to be "funnier, sillier and less harmful than standard hooliganism, being based on nonsense rather than violence." Boisterous roisterers might be chagrined to learn that the word roister derives from a Middle French word that means "lout" or "boor," rustre. Ultimately, however, it is from the fairly neutral Latin word rusticus, meaning "rural." In the 16th century, the original English verb was simply roist, and one who roisted was a roister. Later, we changed the verb to roister and the corresponding noun to roisterer.

Examples of roister in a Sentence

Verb the earl's wastrel son had spent the best part of his youth roistering and gambling
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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, "“Pain and Glory” Tells Autumnal Truths," 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.

First Known Use of roister


1549, in the meaning defined above


1663, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for roister


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

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Time Traveler for roister

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The first known use of roister was in 1549

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Cite this Entry

“Roister.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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