Meaning of charivari in English:


Pronunciation /ˌʃɑːrɪˈvɑːri/

nounplural noun charivaris

  • 1 historical A noisy mock serenade performed by a group of people to celebrate a marriage or mock an unpopular person.

    ‘friends gave them a joyous charivari, with much banging and bell-ringing’
    • ‘I am researching all aspects of shivarees, and would be interested in hearing about what people in your area think about the reasons for shivarees, what kinds of things happen or happened at them, and how people react or reacted to them.’
    • ‘What we need to do is redevelop charivaris, shaming rituals, to show them their behaviour is just not acceptable.’
    • ‘Deeply influenced by cultural anthropology, they have found in the often surprisingly rich documentation about festivals, processions, charivaris etc.’
    • ‘Here, too, he delineates his subject through a series of paradoxes: do English charivari and Skimmington rides represent punishment or celebration?’
    1. 1.1A series of discordant noises.
      • ‘I've explored before the early modern practice of charivaris, or rough music, but was surprised to read of a late 19th-century example, and in London.’
      din, racket, loud noise, uproar, tumult, babel, shouting, yelling, screaming, baying, roaring, blaring, clangour


Mid 17th century from French, of unknown origin.