How is the word arouse used in English?

For example, which is correct to say:

Do not arouse my anger


Do not raise my anger

could anyone explain it to me.

  • I think the most common, idiomatic way to say it would be: Do not make me angry.
    – J.R.
    Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 9:38

4 Answers 4


The first sentence can be used. Both sentences are grammatically correct. Both verbs (raise, arouse) take direct objects. But we don't tell someone else not to "raise my anger." We might say "I do not want to raise my anger." We say "raise my voice" when we make our voices louder when we get angry. But, still, "don't arouse my anger" also sounds a bit unnatural. A more natural way to say this is

"Don't make me angry."

Most people do not say "arouse." They use this word in written English. You can look at example sentences in the Oxford Dictionary: arouse.


Yes I agree with the previous answer. Just to add that "arouse" is one of those out-of-date verbs which have fallen into disuse in modern English except when used in fixed expressions. "Raise" on the other hand is commonly used in multiple situations.


"Arouse" means 'to awaken' while "raise" means 'to increase or make higher'.
The two words create different ideas. If you say "raise my anger" it suggests that you're already angry and might get angrier. If you see a person and they're angry but you're not scared, why would you care if they get a little angrier?

But if you say "arouse" it suggests that your anger is a sleeping giant. Right now you are calm because your anger is sleeping, but if your anger awakes you will change dramatically so your listener should fear making you angry.

"Arouse" usually suggests a large change from a peaceful behavior to an alert and energetic behavior.


Since the other answers do not seem to address your actual question which is "How is the word "arouse" used in English?"

As a native speaker, we commonly use the word "arouse" in a sexual way, as in "sexually aroused".

So if someone has turned you on or made you sexually excited, you can say "Wow, you really make me aroused."

The word "aroused" is very seldom used in any other context, at least in American English.

  • One other context where you may occasional see arouse used is with curiousity: That question aroused my curiosity.
    – J.R.
    Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 9:38

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