Definition of rowdy in US English:



  • Noisy and disorderly.

    ‘it was a rowdy but good-natured crowd’
    • ‘Most of the kids at the school were rowdy and rambunctious, but they knew not to mess with the principal.’
    • ‘Certainly from the reports so far, it seems as though guards based in the city centre had not been given the training to deal with a rowdy crowd.’
    • ‘Since they began their direct action the arson attacks, break-ins and rowdy behaviour of recent weeks has all but stopped.’
    • ‘Be especially aware of late night, rowdy discussions around the campfire, or yelling and shouting.’
    • ‘Police are also cracking down on rowdy teenagers who have been causing a disturbance at stations in the area.’
    • ‘Police are preparing to launch a crackdown on rowdy youths in Stratton, Swindon.’
    • ‘Taxi drivers could reduce the chance of being assaulted by installing a protective shield to separate them from rowdy passengers.’
    • ‘Housing chiefs say such behaviour will not be tolerated, and have warned rowdy tenants that they face eviction.’
    • ‘I could tell she was making a valiant attempt to join in the rambunctious merrymaking with the rowdy crowd.’
    • ‘The famous sailor dance mimicked the movement of drunk, rowdy crewmen.’
    • ‘Crowds of rowdy youngsters streaming into Walton from outlying towns and villages are causing a problem.’
    • ‘Every so often the Royal Marines let off smoke grenades to disperse the increasingly rowdy crowd.’
    • ‘Residents using the shops have complained about the group's rowdy behaviour and businesses say they are losing customers.’
    • ‘When a loud, rowdy group of kids came in, I just kept my head down and ignored them.’
    • ‘Problems started a year ago with youngsters being rowdy and lighting fires, he said.’
    • ‘Police now have more powers than ever to crack down on boozy rowdy behaviour.’
    • ‘In Billericay, police were called to move on a crowd of more than 50 rowdy supporters after they spilled on to the High Street, but no arrests were made.’
    • ‘In 1992, he was arrested after rowdy scenes outside a Nottingham nightclub, but released without charge.’
    • ‘One by one, loud, rowdy girls begin to file in from the halls.’
    • ‘Over the years, December 31 has become synonymous with drunken and rowdy behaviour in public.’
    unruly, disorderly, badly behaved, obstreperous, riotous, unrestrained, undisciplined, ill-disciplined, unmanageable, uncontrollable, ungovernable, uncontrolled, disruptive, out of hand, out of control, rough, wild, turbulent, lawless
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  • A noisy and disorderly person.

    • ‘Anarchist, of course, has become a media code word for punk-and-hippie anti-capitalist rowdies.’
    • ‘Following several incidents in previous years when drunken rowdies went on the rampage in York, coaches were permanently banned from the city centre and pubs had to close before the last race.’
    • ‘Sleep-starved residents today called for a new crackdown on rowdies in Clacton town centre who are making their lives a misery.’
    • ‘Youngsters are not just a bunch of movie-type heroes or roadside rowdies who would bring disgrace to society with their actions.’
    • ‘On the other side they were considered as wild red necks, rowdies and drunks.’
    • ‘The rowdies were given a free hand to subvert justice, equality, liberty and fraternity.’
    • ‘The centre is not so awfully bad, if you ignore the drunks and rowdies that is.’
    • ‘His enervated foster parents solved the problem by giving the little rowdy into the custody of a cloister.’
    • ‘In 1969 the canyon shut down, overrun by motorcyclists, students, and assorted rowdies.’
    • ‘Now the police sergeant, who has moved back to the town after a 17-year stint elsewhere in the county, wants to clamp down on the late night rowdies.’
    • ‘The courts will also have the power to order the pubs and clubs to install CCTV to keep an eye on rowdies.’
    • ‘The hero joins the band of underworld dons and becomes a rowdy.’
    • ‘The two weeks we were there were entirely free of drunks or rowdies.’
    • ‘In their eagerness to surpass their rivals, friendly competition between fire companies deteriorated into daily skirmishes and riots between gangs of dandies and rowdies.’
    • ‘But they weren't drinking, they weren't rowdies, they were marvelous ladies and gentlemen that were a credit to their country and to their faith and to their parents.’
    • ‘Even after she asked him to stay close when approached by two rowdies, he told her that they were harmless and left her to it - hoping against hope he had made the right decision.’
    • ‘His leg had been broken during a brawl at the pub; he had been forced to evict a group of rowdies and they decided that he should be left with this memento of their visit.’
    • ‘All rowdies go there, and the watchman had so many skirmishes with them.’
    • ‘Again, in an exercise hall where supervision was inadequate, the senior pupils would wantonly throw down the juniors or pick quarrels, so that jujitsu was despised as something that made rowdies of young men.’
    • ‘There are several playgrounds around Bradford, built under similar arrangements, which have been removed at the request of residents after becoming the gathering place for young rowdies.’
    ruffian, troublemaker, lout, thug, hooligan, bully boy, hoodlum, brawler
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Early 19th century (originally US in the sense ‘lawless backwoodsman’): of unknown origin.