Definition of arouse in English:


Syllabification: a·rouse
Pronunciation: /əˈrouz


[with object]
  • 1Evoke or awaken (a feeling, emotion, or response): something about the man aroused the guard’s suspicions the letter aroused in him a sense of urgency
    More example sentences
    • Accepting a position at Princeton, he attended a course on knot theory by R Fox and from this his interest was aroused in combinatorial group theory.
    • My interest was aroused in him because of the book that he was carrying.
    • Their confusion about how to shape their lives in response to these conditions arouses anxiety, and many abuse their spouse and children or turn to drugs and alcohol to alleviate their tension.
    induce, prompt, trigger, stir up, bring out, kindle, fire, spark off, provoke, engender, cause, foster
    literary enkindle
  • 1.1Excite or provoke (someone) to anger or strong emotions: an ability to influence the audience and to arouse the masses
    More example sentences
    • Immediately I am aroused by a strong, familiar, and comforting smell.
    • The aim seemed solely to arouse people emotionally and expose basic instincts without any component of catharsis or cleansing as was the norm with the calypso art-form of yesteryear.
    • Resistance to the British in Virginia, he wrote, was like ‘a shock of electricity, arousing every man and placing him erect and solidly on his centre.’
    stir up, rouse, galvanize, excite, electrify, stimulate, inspire, inspirit, move, fire up, whip up, get going, inflame, agitate, goad, incite
    rare inspirit
  • 1.2Excite (someone) sexually.
    More example sentences
    • Some boys reported that he was sexually aroused when he did this and others reported being shown pornography.
    • Up until now, few had tried to develop a drug to sexually arouse women because the task involves more than getting blood to move around.
    • He says it is something that will sexually arouse a person every time he/she is exposed to the stimulus.
    excite, stimulate, titillate
    informal turn on, get going, give a thrill to, light someone's fire
  • 2Awaken (someone) from sleep: she had been aroused by the telephone
    More example sentences
    • This had probably been done with the view of arousing me from sleep.
    • One evening, after the household had gone to sleep, Jane was aroused by the smell of smoke - to find Mr. Rochester's bed on fire.
    • On admission to the PACU, Mrs L's vital signs were stable, and she was aroused from sleep easily.
    wake (up), awaken, bring to, rouse
    literary waken


late 16th century: from rouse, on the pattern of the pair of rise, arise.

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