Word of the Day : November 17, 2019


verb kuh-ROWZ ("OW" as in 'cow')


1 : to drink liquor freely or excessively

2 : to take part in a drunken revel : engage in dissolute behavior

Did You Know?

Sixteenth-century English revelers toasting each other's health sometimes drank a brimming mug of spirits straight to the bottom—drinking "all-out," they called it. German tipplers did the same and used the German expression for "all out"—gar aus. The French adopted the German term as carous, using the adverb in their expression boire carous ("to drink all out"), and that phrase, with its idiomatic sense of "to empty the cup," led to carrousse, a French noun meaning "a large draft of liquor." And that's where English speakers picked up carouse in the 1500s, first as a noun (which later took on the sense of a general "drunken revel"), and then as a verb meaning "to drink freely."


Each fall the campus newspaper runs an editorial urging students to recognize that studying and getting involved in official campus activities benefit them far more than carousing does.

"Maroon leather chairs still line the high-ceilinged reading room where once area businessmen in white shirts and ties repaired to enjoy a Scotch and a fine cigar. And a grand staircase still leads to the basement, where members caroused around a four-lane bowling alley." — Tom Mooney, The Providence (Rhode Island) Journal, 29 Sept. 2019

Test Your Vocabulary

Fill in the blanks to complete an adjective that means "marked by restraint especially in the eating of food or drinking of alcohol": a _ s _ e _ i _ _ s.



More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!