Updated: FEBRUARY 17, 2015
Carousing is a term for boisterous socializing and merrymaking that often involves drinking and sex. The word comes from the German interjection garaus which means "time to leave the bar." The English adopted the word and used it to mean "the practice of sitting around drinking until closing time." The verb carouse followed this noun. It entered the English lexicon in 1567.

More About Carousing

There is some disagreement about what the activity of carousing actually entails. Some people believe that carousing typically implies an intent to engage in sexual intercourse or activity, or a presumption that sexual activities will take place. However, others believe that carousing need not necessarily have a sexual component. For these people, carousing is all about consuming significant quantities of alcohol. Carousing may also involve singing bawdy songs and general revelry.

As carousing usually involves consumption of alcohol, bars and nightclubs are common venues for this activity. It is seen as an activity enjoyed by libertines, cavaliers, and other free spirits who do not mind engaging in acts of debauchery. For this reason, carousing is condemned by religious figures who cite the Bible as evidence of its destructive influence.

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