aroused; arousing

transitive verb

: to awaken from sleep
was aroused from a deep sleep by a loud noise
: to stimulate to action or to bodily readiness for activity : excite
a book that has aroused debate
: to excite (someone) sexually : to cause sexual arousal in (someone)
… girls whose perfume scent frightened him and aroused him. Elizabeth Berg

intransitive verb

: to awake from sleep : stir
aroused adjective

Example Sentences

The report aroused a great deal of public interest. The husky sound of her voice could always arouse him. Their proposal is certain to arouse the opposition.
Recent Examples on the Web The program, which ran between 1965 and 1996, was meant to arouse an interest in reading. Christine Hauser,, 28 July 2022 The program, which ran between 1965 and 1996, sought to arouse an interest in reading in children. New York Times, 28 July 2022 The first episode includes a flogging demonstration, in which one person strikes another with a whip to arouse a sense of pleasure. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, 8 July 2022 These are the ones that arouse Katia and Maurice’s interest the most. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 7 July 2022 Five posts reported persistent avoidance of people, activities and places that might lead to transmission of insects or arouse recollections of the original encounter. Jerome Goddard, The Conversation, 3 June 2022 For doctors who did not read an entire article, titles such as 'The Tuskegee study of untreated syphilis: the 30th year of observation' should have been sufficient to arouse suspicion. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 5 May 2022 Schwarzenegger’s failure to arouse any sense of unity in this country wasn’t surprising to Mia Bloom, an extremism expert and professor of communication and Middle East studies at Georgia State University. Los Angeles Times, 17 Mar. 2022 Either scenario would give Russian President Vladimir Putin a significant propaganda victory and potentially arouse support within Russia for an attack on NATO countries. Anchorage Daily News, 14 Mar. 2022 See More

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

Word History


a- (as in arise, awake entry 1) + rouse entry 1

Note: The verb arouse is formed by analogy with rise : arise, wake : awake; in these pairs a- goes back to Old English, as either the perfective prefix a- (see abide) or a reduced form of on- (see a- entry 1).

First Known Use

circa 1616, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of arouse was circa 1616

Dictionary Entries Near arouse

Cite this Entry

“Arouse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

aroused; arousing
: to awaken from sleep
: to rouse to action : excite

Medical Definition

aroused; arousing
: to awake from sleep
: to rouse or stimulate to action
: to excite (someone) sexually : to cause sexual arousal in (someone)
: to give rise to
a response aroused by a stimulus
arousable adjective
arousability noun
plural arousabilities

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