Definition of arouse in English:



  • 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’
    • ‘Changes in timbre, in speed, in tone are intended to arouse feelings in the listener, such as passion or jealousy.’
    • ‘Even a normal, healthy body weight may arouse feelings of tension and panic.’
    • ‘He has repeatedly called for negotiations on Kashmir; there has never been a Pakistani head of state more willing to talk about an issue that arouses violent feelings on both sides.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘My interest was aroused in him because of the book that he was carrying.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The words of Gu's mother would probably arouse jealous feelings among parents living a century and a half ago.’
    • ‘You should work with a topic that arouses real feelings, something that actually touches you or feels a little raw.’
    • ‘I can only hope that it may arouse interest, some sympathy and understanding for fellow human beings in wretched circumstances.’
    • ‘Why does war in the Middle East today arouse feelings that war in the Balkans did not, if logically there is little or nothing to choose between them?’
    • ‘Further allegations of anti-Catholicism from prominent figures including Cardinal Logue aroused sectarian feelings which led to jeering and hissing on 8 May.’
    • ‘At the same time, the economic processes at work in society arouse feelings of anxiety and apprehension among servicemen.’
    • ‘The feelings aroused by Princess Diana, and her very public falling out with the House of Windsor, were just as strong.’
    • ‘They arouse feelings of nostalgia, but are still manufactured for use today.’
    • ‘And the coverage of U.S. atrocities aroused feelings of shame rather than pride.’
    • ‘Alarmed at the violent feelings aroused by the crime, Judge Cornelius Hedges closed the hearings to the public.’
    • ‘In this atmosphere the approaching memorial day arouses feelings of unease, more than anything else.’
    • ‘‘In a few days the settlers have succeeded in arousing feelings of disgust that they did not manage to arouse for decades,’ said newspaper commentator Sima Kadmon.’
    • ‘But once you saw such amazement in their eyes, it aroused a feeling of pride and some of your own amazement at the beauty.’
    • ‘The book is something of a tour de force in creating sympathy for a character who, properly speaking, ought to arouse feelings of contempt.’
    cause, induce, prompt, set off, trigger, stir up, inspire, call forth, bring into being, call 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
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    1. 1.1 Excite or provoke (someone) to anger or strong emotions.
      ‘an ability to influence the audience and to arouse the masses’
      • ‘The reason is that merely arousing people to action once may not suffice to bring them out of lethargy.’
      • ‘Another example of this method of arousing the people came in his speech to the House of Commons after the fall of France when Britain was on her own and a German invasion seemed certain.’
      • ‘Scientific work in the 1970s and 1980s into acid rain had a strong effect on arousing governments and the public, and reducing sulphur emissions.’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘A continued litany from speeches in the House to churches in their districts aroused the inner-city residents to come to the aid of a country founded by slaves.’
      • ‘She further aroused the fans, kissing her fist and shaking it in the air after winning the second set.’
      • ‘It didn't offend me, amuse me, arouse me, repel me, seduce me or astound me.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘However, this is Hollywood: just as we are aroused by the images of disaster films, we are exhilarated by scenes of destruction.’
      • ‘It came to power by making blood-curdling calls designed to arouse voters.’
      • ‘It is a state of mind that inspires and arouses us to put action into the task at hand.’
      • ‘That easy promise he'd made not to pray was the means of arousing him to meet the God who inspires and hears and answers prayer.’
      • ‘The food that arouses men most through smell alone includes cinnamon buns, roast meat and cheese pizza.’
      • ‘Immediately I am aroused by a strong, familiar, and comforting smell.’
      • ‘The writer's mission is to care about and contemplate man's fate and existing conditions in order to arouse other people to care and think.’
      • ‘But now the people are aroused and agitated by Bush's failures to deliver on his two big bets.’
      • ‘Behind the ‘safety’ of the performance space, dance figures are used to arouse the crowd through their animation of, most usually, the distinctly taboo.’
      • ‘Acts of this sort arouse every cultured person and no haziness or lack of clarity can excuse them.’
      • ‘Now the parliamentarians are grasping for the last means of arousing the people in order to win them over to their cause once again: giving back their mandate.’
      • ‘Regional politicians found it was easy to arouse people on issues like regional pride.’
      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
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    2. 1.2 Excite (someone) sexually.
      ‘I was surprised to find that this look aroused me’
      ‘I felt very aroused’
      • ‘How dare that the censors think we'd be sexually aroused by such scenes?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Hundreds of complaints about an advert for Mazda, that showed a female mannequin becoming sexually aroused by a driving experience, have been rejected.’
      • ‘He discovers he is aroused by jealousy, so he encourages the young doctor to flirt with his wife.’
      • ‘Some people are sexually aroused by the strangest things.’
      • ‘It's healthy that you've been able to identify one of the things that arouses you sexually.’
      • ‘Another letter was from a woman complaining that her husband could not arouse her as well as an ex-lover.’
      • ‘When he spoke, she was able to feel his breath on her skin, caressing her, hugging her, arousing her.’
      • ‘Young adolescent boys are aroused by sexual imagery, and they burn with longing for sexual contact.’
      • ‘We were talking about reading when she admitted that she gets really sexually aroused by books.’
      • ‘Some boys reported that he was sexually aroused when he did this and others reported being shown pornography.’
      • ‘She is glad that she aroused him sexually, and looks forward to frustrating him.’
      • ‘An exhibitionist is sexually aroused by the shock or surprise of the victim.’
      • ‘A Northwestern University study found that both gay and heterosexual women are aroused by girl-on-girl erotica.’
      • ‘He indicated that he was sexually aroused by the female complainant.’
      • ‘He lay on top of her for a moment, savoring the passion, until she moved her hips, arousing him even more.’
      • ‘However, could the amount of oestrogen ‘shed’ into the atmosphere by sexually aroused women really reach the kind of levels required to trigger puberty?’
      • ‘The physical parts always feel very real to me, and arouse me.’
      • ‘While men are aroused visually, women are more aroused by words.’
      • ‘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
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  • 2Awaken (someone) from sleep.

    ‘she had been aroused by the telephone’
    • ‘An explosion aroused him from his trance, the fire to burn the inn down had reached the bar and ignited it's contents, sending the fire into a massive wall of death.’
    • ‘She walked slowly down the main hall towards the room that her mother occupied on her visits, still drowsy from being aroused from her 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.’
    • ‘Then I went to bed and fell into one of my terrible sleeps, from which I was aroused in about two hours by a still more terrible shock.’
    • ‘A knock on her bedroom door aroused her from her reverie.’
    • ‘At home, if gentle stimulation fails to arouse the child, the caretaker should try more vigorous stimulation and provide CPR if necessary.’
    • ‘Finally, the bell rang arousing me from my thoughts.’
    • ‘She held the box and stopped crying, falling into a deep sleep which hourly examinations could not arouse.’
    • ‘This had probably been done with the view of arousing me from sleep.’
    • ‘We should realize that maybe the emergence of UPS will arouse us from a state of complacency and readies us for the grim challenges lying ahead.’
    • ‘Walking towards her, I tried to arouse her, but she would not wake.’
    • ‘My alarm went off at six-thirty the next morning, arousing me from a peaceful sleep.’
    • ‘A herdsman, aroused from sleep by their presence stared at them briefly from behind a low wall, blinking with a look as blank as his charges.’
    • ‘Anything out of the ordinary could arouse her from her precarious slumber.’
    • ‘I went downstairs and aroused my father from his slumber.’
    • ‘These episodes may necessitate stimulation or resuscitation to arouse the child and reinitiate regular breathing.’
    • ‘After doing so she brushed her teeth, and then attempted to arouse her siblings from sleep.’
    • ‘It was only then that the sound of approaching feet had aroused her from her slumber.’
    • ‘On admission to the PACU, Mrs L's vital signs were stable, and she was aroused from sleep easily.’
    • ‘Gradually, the patient spends more time sleeping during the day and at times is difficult to arouse.’
    wake, wake up, waken, awaken, bring to, bring around, rouse
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Late 16th century: from rouse, on the pattern of the pair of rise, arise.