Definition of enthusiasm in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪnˈθjuːzɪaz(ə)m/


[mass noun]
1Intense and eager enjoyment, interest, or approval: her energy and enthusiasm for life few expressed enthusiasm about the current leaders
More example sentences
  • It was always hard then to create much interest or enthusiasm for it here in London.
  • At the time, the parish councillors expressed enthusiasm for the idea.
  • Many have expressed enthusiasm for the kind of farming that the Limestone Country project will support.
1.1 [count noun] Something that arouses enthusiasm: the three enthusiasms of his life were politics, religion, and books
More example sentences
  • And the best compilations give you a direct line into somebody's head - their enthusiasms and obsessions.
  • Whether or not she actually buys women's magazines, she can't escape their sexual anxieties, enthusiasms, and obsessions.
  • Not always very quickly - there is merit in taking one's time to build up a picture of usage and so avoid being misled by temporary enthusiasms and short-lived fashion.
inclination, preference, penchant, predilection, fancy, impulse;
pastime, hobby, recreation, (leisure) pursuit, leisure activity, entertainment
informal bug, thing
2 archaic, derogatory Religious fervour supposedly resulting directly from divine inspiration, typically involving speaking in tongues and wild, uncoordinated movements of the body.


Early 17th century (in sense 2): from French enthousiasme, or via late Latin from Greek enthousiasmos, from enthous 'possessed by a god, inspired' (based on theos 'god').

  • The origin of enthusiasm is Greek enthous ‘possessed by a god, inspired’, from theos ‘god’, which is the root of many words including atheist (mid 16th century), pantheon (Old English), and theology. Until relatively recently enthusiasm, enthusiast, and enthusiastic had stronger and less favourable meanings than they do today. Enthusiasm was originally, in the early 17th century, religious mania or divine inspiration, often involving ‘speaking in tongues’ and wild, uncontrollable behaviour. An enthusiast was a religious fanatic or fundamentalist, or a hypocrite pretending to be one. Over the next hundred years or so the force of enthusiasm and its related words weakened so that they arrived at something like our modern meanings.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: en|thu¦si|asm

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