Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To cause to feel happily refreshed and energetic; elate: We were exhilarated by the cool, pine-scented air.
  • transitive v. To invigorate; stimulate: bold designs that exhilarate the viewer's imagination.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To make happy, cheer up.
  • v. To refreshingly thrill.
  • v. To bring new life to.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To become joyous.
  • transitive v. To make merry or jolly; to enliven; to animate; to gladden greatly; to cheer

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make cheerful, lively, or merry; render glad or joyous; cheer; enliven; gladden.
  • Synonyms To animate, inspirit, elate.
  • To become cheerful or joyous.

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

  • v. fill with sublime emotion

Etymologies

Latin exhilarāre, exhilarāt- : ex-, intensive pref.; see ex- + hilarāre, to make cheerful (from hilaris, hilarus, cheerful, from Greek hilaros).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin exhilarare ("to gladden, make merry, delight"), from ex ("from") + hilarare ("to cheer up, gladden"), from hilaris ("glad"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The west's threats must exhilarate the young bloods of the Revolutionary Guard and depress the opposition.

    Simon Jenkins: Why Is Britain Ramping Up Sanctions Against Iran?

  • They also still exhilarate him: Of course you get scared.

    Storm Chaser and Tank Blow Into Town

  • Lead actor Andreas Lust (also seen in "Revanche," another chilly Austrian drama in which the moral calculus tallies up a psychological cliffhanger) portrays a kind of instinctual animal — or ascetic sociopath, take your pick — whose disciplined urges exhilarate, then implode.

    Spanning the Cinematic Globe From Midtown

  • Its current show, Kooza, now playing at Randall's Island Park, continues to exhilarate.

    Fern Siegel: Stage Door: Blithe Spirit, Cirque's Kooza, Mary Stuart

  • At first these photos seemed to exhilarate her, but soon she grew to hate the Vineland pictures, because she felt that the shots were “out of control.”

    Diane Arbus.

  • The dramatic, satisfying climax and deftly handled resolution of the many plot threads will convince and exhilarate readers.

    LIBYRINTH is out!

  • This was not an observation to exhilarate her spirits.

    Camilla

  • What cookery, masking, mirth to exhilarate his person?

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • As soon as Euryalus departed from Senes, Lucretia, his paramour, never looked up, no jests could exhilarate her sad mind, no joys comfort her wounded and distressed soul, but a little after she fell sick and died.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • One of the Roman emperors had a seed, which he did ordinarily eat to exhilarate himself.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

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