Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Regional See shivaree. See Regional Note at shivaree.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The noisy banging of pots and pans as a mock serenade to a newly married couple, or similar occasion.
  • n. Any loud, cacophonous noise or hubbub.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A mock serenade of discordant noises, made with kettles, tin horns, etc., designed to annoy and insult; -- called also shivaree.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To treat to a charivari.
  • n. A mock serenade, with kettles, horns, etc., intended as an annoyance or insult.
  • n. [capitalized] The name of a satirical journal founded in Paris in 1832.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a noisy mock serenade (made by banging pans and kettles) to a newly married couple

Etymologies

French, from Old French, perhaps from Late Latin carībaria, headache, from Greek karēbariā : karē, head; see ker-1 in Indo-European roots + barus, heavy; see gwerə-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French charivari. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Regional Note: Shivaree is the most common American regional form of charivari, a French word meaning "a noisy mock serenade for newlyweds" and probably deriving in turn from a Late Latin word meaning "headache."

    The WELL: Sugaree

  • The charivari is a custom that the Canadians got from the

    Roughing It in the Bush

  • But I can tell you that a charivari is not always a joke.

    Roughing It in the Bush

  • The popping of revolvers, the clanging of cow bells, the clash of tin boilers -- all that medley of discord which lends volume to the horror known as a charivari -- tore to shreds the harmony of the night.

    A Man Four-Square

  • The charivari is a custom that the Canadians got from the French, in the

    Roughing It in the Bush

  • In the universities of Southern France, the marriage of resident doctors and students was also contemplated, and the statutes of the University of Aix contain a table of charges payable as "charivari" by a rector,

    Life in the Medieval University

  • On her first evening in Gopher Prairie Cy had appeared at the head of a "charivari," banging immensely upon a discarded automobile fender.

    Main Street

  • Dan was full of a wild idea that we should all meet them at the gate, armed with cowbells and tin-pans, and "charivari" them up the lane.

    The Golden Road

  • It is related to other means of social control that arise in communities, such as charivari, riding the rail, and tarring and feathering.

    AlterNet.org Main RSS Feed

  • 'charivari' under the windows on the wedding-night.

    The Idiot

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