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Etymology edit

First attested from 1603, from Middle French enthousiasme, from Late Latin enthusiasmus, from Ancient Greek ἐνθουσιασμός (enthousiasmós), from ἐν (en, in) + θεός (theós, god) + οὐσία (ousía, essence).

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ɪnˈθjuːziæz(ə)m/, /-θɪu̯-/, /ɛn-/
  • (file)
  • (yod dropping) IPA(key): /-θuː-/
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Noun edit

enthusiasm (countable and uncountable, plural enthusiasms)

  1. Intensity of feeling; excited interest or eagerness.
    Try to curb your enthusiasm.
    They have a great enthusiasm for country music.
  2. Something in which one is keenly interested.
    • 1968, Central States Archaeological Journal, volumes 15-16, page 154:
      My main enthusiasm is attending and seeing the progress and interest of collectors, to meet old friends, and hopefully to make new friends.
    • 2012, Nicholas Joll, Philosophy and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, page 23:
      Other Adamsian enthusiasms included: fast cars; restaurants; Bach, the Beatles, Pink Floyd and Dire Straits; []
  3. (obsolete or historical) Possession by a god; divine inspiration or frenzy.
    • 1946, Bertrand Russell, chapter 1, in History of Western Philosophy:
      The intoxication that they sought was that of ‘enthusiasm’, of union with the god.

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