Etymology
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arousal (n.)

1827, "action of arousing, state of being awakened," from arouse + -al (2). Sexual association is from c. 1900.

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Definitions of arousal

arousal (n.)
the act of arousing;
the purpose of art is the arousal of emotions
Synonyms: rousing
arousal (n.)
a state of heightened physiological activity;
arousal (n.)
awakening from sleep;
arousal (n.)
mutual sexual fondling prior to sexual intercourse;
Synonyms: foreplay / stimulation
From wordnet.princeton.edu