Definition of wowser in English:



NZ, Australian
  • A puritanical or censorious person, in particular a teetotaller or person opposed to alcohol.

    • ‘Of course there are always the wowsers who resent the sight of anyone enjoying themselves, and would like to stop it.’
    • ‘The nation is again being told off for its profligacy, economic wowsers merrily predicting a scuttling.’
    • ‘I don't want to come across as a complete wowser, but with growing numbers of road deaths, especially amongst young, male drivers, is this advertising approach really that socially acceptable?’
    • ‘They don't need wowsers telling them that you can or can't gamble.’
    • ‘Now I have often enough had a meal and a glass of wine or two with Bob and his beautiful wife Helena, and know they are no wowsers.’
    • ‘I'm no wowser, but the lives of many people are in your hands at sea and it can't be trivialised.’
    • ‘Call me a wowser if you must, but I can't see that this is a desirable form of hedonism.’
    • ‘Sensibly, however, Young is careful not to adopt the moral tone so typical of many modern anthropological wowsers and he takes this complex issue - like others - in his stride with honesty and understanding.’
    • ‘We're not a wowser - we just remember the days when you used to go to the pub for a beer and a yarn.’
    • ‘Even though he is a teetotaller - the basic reasons for which have been well reported - he is not a wowser.’
    • ‘If I'm sounding like a wowser, what's the bet that our gambling losses next year will top $13 billion?’
    • ‘‘I've never seen her be such a wowser before,’ Jack added, more to himself than anyone else.’
    • ‘I do not think there is a single person in this House, including even some of the wowsers around here, who think that going to prohibition would be the right way to fix an alcohol problem.’
    spoilsport, moaner, complainer, mope, prophet of doom, cassandra, jeremiah, death's head at a feast
    View synonyms


Late 19th century: of obscure origin.