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[shiv-uh-ree] /ˌʃɪv əˈri/
a mock serenade with kettles, pans, horns, and other noisemakers given for a newly married couple; charivari.
Informal. an elaborate, noisy celebration.
verb (used with object), shivareed, shivareeing.
to serenade with a shivaree.
Origin of shivaree
1835-45, Americanism; alteration of Mississippi Valley French, French charivari charivari Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for shivaree
Historical Examples
  • Often the young men, stimulated with more or less “moonshine,” add the literally stunning compliment of a shivaree.

    Our Southern Highlanders Horace Kephart
  • I came to tell you that there's a scheme to raise—to 'shivaree' you two, tonight.

    Lonesome Land B. M. Bower
  • It isn't so long, though, since you were just as determined to stay and have the shivaree, you remember.

    Lonesome Land B. M. Bower
  • I looked around for a means of defense, but the Chief told me not to be alarmed—it was merely a "shivaree."

    I Married a Ranger Dama Margaret Smith
  • "I'll never get married again; at least not in the land of the shivaree," I told White Mountain as we tried to repair the damage.

    I Married a Ranger Dama Margaret Smith
  • Another time, we went to Mannheim and attended a shivaree—otherwise an opera—the one called "Lohengrin."

    A Tramp Abroad, Complete Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • I wonder what poor old Elder Edkins would say now if he caught sight of me in this shivaree.

    Lone Pine R. B. (Richard Baxter) Townshend
  • Jest the same it 'ud sure surprise me if we didn't git some sort of a shivaree pahty afteh nightfall.

    Rimrock Trail J. Allan Dunn
  • Scales had fixed up for a crowd of hoodlums to shivaree them as they went.

    Yellowstone Nights Herbert Quick
  • I wanted to keep Man sober, and I tried to get him and his wife out of town before that shivaree of yours was pulled off.

    Lonesome Land B. M. Bower
British Dictionary definitions for shivaree


noun (US & Canadian)
a discordant mock serenade to newlyweds, made with pans, kettles, etc
a confused noise; din
Also (esp dialect) charivari
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for shivaree

1843, earlier sherrie-varrie (1805), alteration of charivari. Century Dictionary describes it as "vulgar, southern U.S.;" OED describes it as "U.S. and Cornwall."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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