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[boi-ster-uh s, -struh s] /ˈbɔɪ stər əs, -strəs/
rough and noisy; noisily jolly or rowdy; clamorous; unrestrained:
the sound of boisterous laughter.
(of waves, weather, wind, etc.) rough and stormy.
Obsolete. rough and massive.
Origin of boisterous
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English boistrous, variant of Middle English boistous crude, strong, fierce, gross; of obscure origin
Related forms
boisterously, adverb
boisterousness, noun
unboisterous, adjective
unboisterously, adverb
unboisterousness, noun
1. uproarious, obstreperous, roistering, loud, vociferous, impetuous. 1, 2. tempestuous, tumultuous, turbulent, violent, wild.
1, 2. calm, serene. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for boisterous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The gale did not abate; nothing but the boisterous sea and the overcast sky could I see about me.

    Swept Out to Sea W. Bertram Foster
  • Immediately a hush had descended upon the boisterous company.

    Steve and the Steam Engine Sara Ware Bassett
  • Claudia was in her most boisterous spirits; Eugene, by one of the quick transitions of his nature, was hardly less elate.

    Father Stafford Anthony Hope
  • Anon I heard a boisterous shout, which seemed to proceed from the entrance of the dingle.

    Lavengro George Borrow
  • Old boisterous had brought one of this sort with him: the reading of it had already been determined on.

British Dictionary definitions for boisterous


/ˈbɔɪstərəs; -strəs/
noisy and lively; unrestrained or unruly
(of the wind, sea, etc) turbulent or stormy
Derived Forms
boisterously, adverb
boisterousness, noun
Word Origin
C13 boistuous, of unknown origin
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 boisterous

late 15c., unexplained alteration of Middle English boistous (c.1300) "rough, coarse (as of food), clumsy, violent," of unknown origin, perhaps from Anglo-French bustous "rough (road)," which is perhaps from Old French boisteos "curved, lame; uneven, rough" (Modern French boiteux), itself of obscure origin. Another guess traces it via Celtic to Latin bestia. Used of persons from 1560s. Related: Boisterously; boisterousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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