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1. The loud deep cry of a wild animal, especially a lion or other wild cat.
2. A loud, deep, prolonged sound or cry, as of a person in distress or rage.
3. A loud prolonged noise, such as that produced by waves.
4. A loud burst of laughter.
v. roared, roar·ing, roars
1. To produce or utter a roar.
2. To laugh loudly or excitedly.
3. To make or produce a loud noise or din: The engines roared.
4. To move while making a loud noise: The truck roared down the road.
5. To breathe with a rasping sound. Used of a horse.
1. To utter or express loudly. See Synonyms at yell.
2. To put, bring, or force into a specified state by roaring: The crowd roared itself hoarse.
Phrasal Verb:
roar back
To have great success after a period of lackluster performance; make a dramatic recovery: lost the first set but roared back to win the match.

[Middle English roren, to roar, from Old English rārian.]

roar′er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.




  1. Ranting like a mad prophet —Amos Oz
  2. Roar as loud as a howitzer —Norman Mailer
  3. (The tiger) roaring like the sea —Dame Edith Sitwell
  4. Roar like a jetport —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  5. Roared like a tiger —Eudora Welty
  6. Roar [of laughter] … like a tractor backfiring —Raymond Chandler
  7. Roar like a winter breeze —Cole Porter, from “I’ve Come to Wive It Wealthily In Padua,” one of the lyrics for the musical, Kiss Me Kate, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew.
  8. Roar like bears —The Holy Bible/Isaiah
  9. Roars like a rhino (as she comes and comes) —Carolyn Kizer
  10. We roar all like bears —The Holy Bible/Isaiah
  11. A whoop like Yale making a touchdown against Princeton —Raymond Chandler
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Up went his tail, stiff and erect, and with a series of frightful roars he bore down upon the Tarmangani at the speed of an express train.
There were days when all the air was vexed with roars and squalls of ferocity and agony from the arena, until the last animal in the cages was excited and ill at ease.
She feared not more for herself than for the three men whom she knew to be wandering in the abysmal depths of the savage jungle, from which she now heard issuing the almost incessant shrieks and roars, barkings and growlings of its terrifying and fearsome denizens as they sought their prey.
Then commenced a bombardment which brought forth earthshaking roars from Numa.
"Mint-julep" roars one of the barmen; "Claret sangaree!" shouts another; "Cocktail!" "Brandy-smash!" "Real mint-julep in the new style!" All these cries intermingled produced a bewildering and deafening hubbub.
'Freedom' ye all roar most eagerly: but I have unlearned the belief in
The lion ran first, and as he came he roared; then followed the lioness, but she did not roar, for in her mouth was the cub that Umslopogaas had assegaied in the cave.
Let him give me the word of command, and I'll fight the whole Parliament House single-handed, or set a lighted torch to the King's Throne itself!' With that, he smote Mr Tappertit on the back, with such violence that his little body seemed to shrink into a mere nothing; and roared again until the very foundlings near at hand were startled in their beds.
Far up in the mountains he heard a lion roar. How much safer one was, he soliloquized, in the haunts of wild beasts than in the haunts of men.
Thus there is another gale in my memory, a thing of endless, deep, humming roar, moonlight, and a spoken sentence.
It was a relief to perceive at last from whence came some of these noises which had been roared into his ears.
Just as he spoke there came from the forest a terrible roar, and the next moment a great Lion bounded into the road.