Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Great excitement for or interest in a subject or cause.
  • noun A source or cause of great excitement or interest.
  • noun Ecstasy arising from supposed possession by a god.
  • noun Religious fanaticism.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An ecstasy of mind, as if from inspiration or possession by a spiritual influence; hence, a belief or conceit of being divinely inspired or commissioned.
  • noun In general, a natural tendency toward extravagant admiration and devotion; specifically, absorbing or controlling possession of the mind by any interest, study, or pursuit; ardent zeal in pursuit of some object, inspiring energetic endeavor with strong hope and confidence of success.
  • noun An experience or a manifestation of exalted appreciation or devotion; an expression or a feeling of exalted admiration, imagination, or the like: in this sense with a plural: as, his enthusiasms were now all extinguished; the enthusiasm of impassioned oratory.
  • noun Synonyms Earnestness, Zeal, etc. (see eagerness); warmth, ardor, passion, devotion.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Inspiration as if by a divine or superhuman power; ecstasy; hence, a conceit of divine possession and revelation, or of being directly subject to some divine impulse.
  • noun A state of impassioned emotion; transport; elevation of fancy; exaltation of soul.
  • noun Enkindled and kindling fervor of soul; strong excitement of feeling on behalf of a cause or a subject; ardent and imaginative zeal or interest.
  • noun Lively manifestation of joy or zeal.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Possession by a god; divine inspiration or frenzy.
  • noun Intensity of feeling; excited interest or eagerness.

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

  • noun a lively interest
  • noun overflowing with eager enjoyment or approval
  • noun a feeling of excitement

Etymologies

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

[Late Latin enthūsiasmus, from Greek enthousiasmos, from enthousiazein, to be inspired by a god, from entheos, possessed : en-, in; see en– + theos, god; see dhēs- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

First attested from 1603, from Ancient Greek ἐνθουσιασμός (enthousiasmos), from ἔνθεος (entheos, "possessed by a god"), from ἐν (en, "in") + θεός (theos, "god").

Examples

  • "Even if people do not normally attribute the term enthusiasm to the Germans, believe me, we are enthusiastic," K+S chairman Norbert Steiner said on a conference call with investors.

    CBC | Top Stories News

  • I didn't know this, but the word enthusiasm comes from the Greek and Theos, which means "in God."

    CNN Transcript Jun 18, 2008

  • I didn't know this, but the word enthusiasm comes from the Greek and Theos, which means "in God."

    CNN Transcript Jun 21, 2008

  • They show that, quite understandably, the enthusiasm is accompanied by uncertainty.

    Archive 2007-10-01

  • They show that, quite understandably, the enthusiasm is accompanied by uncertainty.

    Is Gordon Brown really all that?

  • I don't have to post a snide little note to inform you that your enthusiasm is actually kinda stupid.

    My Harry Potter Experience

  • "Why then, daddy, if you are happier than we, what you call the enthusiasm of youth can have nothing to do with it, you know!"

    The Crew of the Water Wagtail

  • The scorners; the sneering, the frivolous, the unearnest, the unbelieving, the envious, who laugh down what they call enthusiasm and romance; who delight in finding fault, and in blackening those who seem purer or nobler than themselves.

    Westminster Sermons with a Preface

  • Despite the tribulations of the first two years of Obama, Americans seem still in favor of Democratic rule, but their "enthusiasm" is measured by only two of the Gallup battery questions, numbers 1 and 7.

    Stephen Herrington: The Invisible Six Point Democratic Lead

  • Despite the tribulations of the first two years of Obama, Americans seem still in favor of Democratic rule, but their "enthusiasm" is measured by only two of the Gallup battery questions, numbers 1 and 7.

    Stephen Herrington: The Invisible Six Point Democratic Lead

Comments

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  • Enthusiasm, i.e. to be filled with the breadth of the Lord, used to be a sin; or at least a bit tacky.

    December 13, 2006