Arouse vs. Rouse


Arouse (int.v.) = The verb arouse means 1- to awaken from sleep; to stimulate to action or to bodily readiness for activity; 2- to excite: a newspaper report that has aroused debate; 3- to excite (someone) sexually: to cause sexual arousal in (someone). Examples: He was aroused from a deep sleep by a loud noise. The debate aroused a lot of interest in the subject of history. He was snoring so loudly and nothing would arouse him. He couldn’t keep his eyes off the television; the clippings aroused him greatly.


Rouse (tr.v.) = The verb rouse means 1- to arouse from or as if from sleep or repose; 2- to stir up; 3- (int. v.) to become aroused; 4- to become stirred. Examples: He was roused by the drunken men in the street. (= awaken). A soft knock on the door barely roused Jane from her deep sleep. He roused and looked around. (cease to sleep or to be inactive; wake up)


Hence, the verb arouse is usually used figuratively or in reference to ‘make someone have a particular feeling’ while rouse more commonly refers to physical action and things that inspire action. Also, arouse is more often used in context of sex, so use it with caution! And rouse generally relates to ‘wake someone up’ or ‘make someone active’.


Some example sentences of ‘arouse’


The judgement being rather vague, it aroused strong feelings against Judge Goldsmith.

The prime minister’s speech is so well delivered that aroused a lot of interest among the audience.

The game was really well played and that’s why it aroused so much interest among the spectators.

The woman’s strange behaviour and gestures aroused suspicion among shopkeepers.

The place was so deserted and there were some strange noises coming from around the old church which aroused a sense of fear among us.

Something about the stuffed bag aroused the guard’s suspicions.

The movie aroused a lot of interest among its viewers.

The final match aroused a lot of passion among the ardent supporters.

The new dam proposals in the village are arousing unneeded discomfort among local peasants.


Notice that we frequently use ‘aroused’ in the English vocabulary, while ‘roused’ is used rarely. You’d better avoid the word ‘roused’ because it sounds unnatural. On the other hand, when using the word ‘aroused’, make sure in what context you are trying to say it – for sexual related feelings or other feelings. In American English, we only use the word ‘aroused’ for sexual related feelings, so it may just be best to avoid it in general!


Some example sentences of ‘rouse’


Jane’s evasiveness roused his curiosity.

She was roused after a small nap to the sounds of hawkers’ yelling. (When ‘aroused’ and ‘roused’ are being used as verbs for waking up, they are the same).

She was roused from a deep sleep by a hand on her shoulder. (cause to stop sleeping)

A weak cry roused him just as he was nodding off to sleep.

There, I roused Simon and Jane, leading them both out.

The novel roused the readers’ emotions by overt descriptions of violence.

And the dog growled back, simply annoyed at being roused from its sound sleep.

On her return to US, she made two attempts to rouse interest in the book.

Martha’s initial anger began to melt away as her curiosity was roused.


More example sentences of ‘arouse’


He had been aroused from deep slumber.

He admits he is aroused by jealousy.

It didn’t offend me, amuse me, arouse me, or astound me.

She admitted that she gets really sexually aroused by books.

He went upstairs and aroused his wife from her slumber.

Her interest was aroused in him because of the clothes that he was wearing.

And the coverage of Russians atrocities aroused feelings of shame rather than pride.

The economic slowdown aroused feelings of anxiety and apprehension among people.

Nobody is willing to talk about an issue that arouses violent feelings on both sides.

Alarmed at the violent demonstrations by the locals, Judge Bridgestone closed the hearings to the public.

Even a normal, healthy body weight may arouse feelings of tension and panic.

You should work on a subject that arouses real feelings, something that actually touches you.

But now the people are aroused and agitated by his failures to deliver on his several promises.

The food that aroused us most through smell alone included S’mores, Cronut, Chicken and Waffles.

Everybody in the hall was aroused by the images of disaster.

He further aroused the fans, shaking his fist in the air after winning the last set.

Behaviour of this sort arouses every cultured person and no haziness or lack of clarity can excuse him.

Politicians found it was easy to arouse people on issues like nationalism.

Merely arousing students to action once may not suffice to bring them out of lethargy.

How dare that the school think students would be sexually aroused by such clothes?

While men are aroused visually, women are more aroused by words.

Martha was aroused by the smell of smoke – to find the neighbour’s house on fire.

It was only then that the sound of approaching train had aroused him from his slumber.

Her alarm went off at 5 in the morning, arousing her from a peaceful sleep.

In a few days the refugees have succeeded in arousing feelings of disgust that they did not manage to arouse for decades.


More example sentences of ‘rouse’


He’d just stay a few more minutes, then rouse himself and go back.

George tried unsuccessfully to rouse himself from his stupor after the break-up.

Sarah’s thoughts were interrupted as a knock at the door roused her.

It rouses some sort of emotion in her: anger, jealousy, the desire to hurl things.

A knock on the door roused her from her seat, and she was more than a little reluctant to answer it.

He didn’t know what had roused him from his sleep, and he sat in bed thinking for a moment.

Jane took after her husband: both were roused to argue easily, but quickly found their anger cooling.

They quarrelled, like any couple in love and they both had terrible tempers when they were roused.

A sudden knock on the door roused her from her deliberations, and she called out an invitation without checking the identity of the visitor.

The labours unions had been roused to anger by a recent decision of the government to nationalize the railways.


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