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’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The feelings aroused by Princess Diana, and her very public falling out with the House of Windsor, were just as strong.’
    • ‘Alarmed at the violent feelings aroused by the crime, Judge Cornelius Hedges closed the hearings to the public.’
    • ‘And the coverage of U.S. atrocities aroused feelings of shame rather than pride.’
    • ‘They arouse feelings of nostalgia, but are still manufactured for use today.’
    • ‘At the same time, the economic processes at work in society arouse feelings of anxiety and apprehension among servicemen.’
    • ‘But once you saw such amazement in their eyes, it aroused a feeling of pride and some of your own amazement at the beauty.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘In this atmosphere the approaching memorial day arouses feelings of unease, more than anything else.’
    • ‘Even a normal, healthy body weight may arouse feelings of tension and panic.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Further allegations of anti-Catholicism from prominent figures including Cardinal Logue aroused sectarian feelings which led to jeering and hissing on 8 May.’
    • ‘My interest was aroused in him because of the book that he was carrying.’
    • ‘Changes in timbre, in speed, in tone are intended to arouse feelings in the listener, such as passion or jealousy.’
    • ‘The book is something of a tour de force in creating sympathy for a character who, properly speaking, ought to arouse feelings of contempt.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    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. 1.1Excite or provoke (someone) to anger or strong emotions.
      ‘an ability to influence the audience and to arouse the masses’
      • ‘It didn't offend me, amuse me, arouse me, repel me, seduce me or astound me.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘The reason is that merely arousing people to action once may not suffice to bring them out of lethargy.’
      • ‘The food that arouses men most through smell alone includes cinnamon buns, roast meat and cheese pizza.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is a state of mind that inspires and arouses us to put action into the task at hand.’
      • ‘It came to power by making blood-curdling calls designed to arouse voters.’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Behind the ‘safety’ of the performance space, dance figures are used to arouse the crowd through their animation of, most usually, the distinctly taboo.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Regional politicians found it was easy to arouse people on issues like regional pride.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But now the people are aroused and agitated by Bush's failures to deliver on his two big bets.’
      • ‘Immediately I am aroused by a strong, familiar, and comforting smell.’
      • ‘She further aroused the fans, kissing her fist and shaking it in the air after winning the second set.’
      • ‘Scientific work in the 1970s and 1980s into acid rain had a strong effect on arousing governments and the public, and reducing sulphur emissions.’
      • ‘Acts of this sort arouse every cultured person and no haziness or lack of clarity can excuse them.’
      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. 1.2Excite (someone) sexually.
      • ‘The physical parts always feel very real to me, and arouse me.’
      • ‘A Northwestern University study found that both gay and heterosexual women are aroused by girl-on-girl erotica.’
      • ‘While men are aroused visually, women are more aroused by words.’
      • ‘He indicated that he was sexually aroused by the female complainant.’
      • ‘Some boys reported that he was sexually aroused when he did this and others reported being shown pornography.’
      • ‘He discovers he is aroused by jealousy, so he encourages the young doctor to flirt with his wife.’
      • ‘However, could the amount of oestrogen ‘shed’ into the atmosphere by sexually aroused women really reach the kind of levels required to trigger puberty?’
      • ‘When he spoke, she was able to feel his breath on her skin, caressing her, hugging her, arousing her.’
      • ‘Hundreds of complaints about an advert for Mazda, that showed a female mannequin becoming sexually aroused by a driving experience, have been rejected.’
      • ‘He lay on top of her for a moment, savoring the passion, until she moved her hips, arousing him even more.’
      • ‘He says it is something that will sexually arouse a person every time he/she is exposed to the stimulus.’
      • ‘An exhibitionist is sexually aroused by the shock or surprise of the victim.’
      • ‘How dare that the censors think we'd be sexually aroused by such scenes?’
      • ‘It's healthy that you've been able to identify one of the things that arouses you sexually.’
      • ‘Young adolescent boys are aroused by sexual imagery, and they burn with longing for sexual contact.’
      • ‘Another letter was from a woman complaining that her husband could not arouse her as well as an ex-lover.’
      • ‘We were talking about reading when she admitted that she gets really sexually aroused by books.’
      • ‘Some people are sexually aroused by the strangest things.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She is glad that she aroused him sexually, and looks forward to frustrating him.’
      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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘My alarm went off at six-thirty the next morning, arousing me from a peaceful sleep.’
    • ‘Anything out of the ordinary could arouse her from her precarious slumber.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This had probably been done with the view of arousing me from sleep.’
    • ‘She held the box and stopped crying, falling into a deep sleep which hourly examinations could not arouse.’
    • ‘A knock on her bedroom door aroused her from her reverie.’
    • ‘Walking towards her, I tried to arouse her, but she would not wake.’
    • ‘On admission to the PACU, Mrs L's vital signs were stable, and she was aroused from sleep easily.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Gradually, the patient spends more time sleeping during the day and at times is difficult to arouse.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    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.