Definition of arouse in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈraʊz/


[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.
cause, induce, prompt, set off, trigger, stir up, inspire, call forth, call/bring into being, draw forth, bring out, excite, evoke, pique, whet, stir, engender, generate, kindle, fire, touch off, spark off, provoke, foster, whip up, sow the seeds of
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, excite, galvanize, electrify, stimulate, inspire, move, fire up, fire the enthusiasm of, fire the imagination of, get going, whip up, inflame, agitate, goad, provoke, spur on, urge, encourage, animate, incite, egg on;
North American  light a fire under
rare inspirit
1.2Excite (someone) sexually: his touch, which had so aroused her moments before, unnerved her now (as adjective aroused) she told him how aroused she was
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, arouse sexually, stimulate, make feel sexually excited, make feel sexy, titillate;
please, attract
informal turn on, get going, give someone a thrill, float someone's boat, do it for someone, light someone's fire, tickle someone's fancy
2Awaken (someone) from sleep: she had been aroused from deep slumber
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, wake up, waken, awaken, bring to, bring around, rouse
British informal knock up



Example sentences
  • Use of lower doses may facilitate a patient being more arousable, but may provide less consistent sedation and a greater chance for movement during selected procedures.
  • Physical examination revealed a febrile, obtunded female, arousable to painful stimuli with no Babinski or Hoffmann signs.
  • She remained arousable, and her hyperventilation gradually resolved within 1 week, enabling complete withdrawal of all respiratory suppressants.


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

Words that rhyme with arouse

blouse, browse, carouse, Cowes, dowse, drowse, espouse, house, Howes, rouse

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: arouse

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