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[ram-buhngk-shuh s] /ræmˈbʌŋk ʃəs/
difficult to control or handle; wildly boisterous:
a rambunctious child.
turbulently active and noisy:
a social gathering that became rambunctious and out of hand.
Origin of rambunctious
1820-30, Americanism; origin uncertain
Related forms
rambunctiously, adverb
rambunctiousness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for rambunctious
  • Despite the plain vanilla exterior, a rambunctious creativity permeates the place.
  • By any name, this rambunctious climber with lacy green foliage is an exceptional beauty in bloom.
  • Welcome to the rambunctious next generation of cable television shows.
  • Steamboats carried more of the cargo, and cities and towns were replacing the more rambunctious trading posts.
  • Kim's other hobbies include playing football, softball, and keeping up with her rambunctious two-year old border collie.
  • Behavior that concerns some dog owners may simply be a rambunctious play style.
  • Everyone wants to remain in a happy and rambunctious pack yet has their own idea of where to go.
British Dictionary definitions for rambunctious


(informal) boisterous; unruly
Derived Forms
rambunctiously, adverb
rambunctiousness, noun
Word Origin
C19: probably from Icelandic ram- (intensifying prefix) + -bunctious, from bumptious
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 rambunctious

1859, earlier rumbunctious, 1830, probably altered (by influence of ram) from rumbustious.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for rambunctious



Boisterous; obstreperous; wild

[1859+; origin unknown; rumbunctious is found by 1830]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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