- absorbing or controlling possession of the mind by any interest or pursuit; lively interest: He shows marked enthusiasm for his studies.
- an occupation, activity, or pursuit in which such interest is shown: Hunting is his latest enthusiasm.
- any of various forms of extreme religious devotion, usually associated with intense emotionalism and a break with orthodoxy.
Origin of enthusiasm
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for enthusiasm
Having finally seen Selma on November 17, I must report, sadly, that I do not share the enthusiasm the film has generated so far.Dr. King Goes to Hollywood: The Flawed History of ‘Selma’
January 2, 2015
Yet for all his enthusiasm for the American film industry, he remained forever an expatriate.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
I so loved the fierce bodily contact of football that I suppose my enthusiasm made up somewhat for my lack of size.How His West Point Football Experience Inspired Eisenhower
November 11, 2014
But the enthusiasm has not dropped off among conservatives.With Ernst and Gardner, Republicans Think They’ve Found the Formula
November 4, 2014
Page, who is with the girls when we speak, says she can “see their enthusiasm, their energy.”Meet the Liberian Girls Beating Ebola
October 29, 2014
But her interest in his hobby for once failed to awaken his enthusiasm.Viviette
William J. Locke
Burke slapped his leg with an enthusiasm that might have broken a weaker member.Within the Law
If his enthusiasm had not run counter to my rights, I might have admired it.The Bacillus of Beauty
"But she is right," exclaimed Hubert, again carried away by her enthusiasm.The Dream
John felt that he had been rebuked for an excess of enthusiasm.The Foolish Lovers
St. John G. Ervine
- ardent and lively interest or eagerness
- an object of keen interest; passion
- archaic extravagant or unbalanced religious fervour
- obsolete possession or inspiration by a god
Word Origin and History for enthusiasm
c.1600, from Middle French enthousiasme (16c.) and directly from Late Latin enthusiasmus, from Greek enthousiasmos "divine inspiration," from enthousiazein "be inspired or possessed by a god, be rapt, be in ecstasy," from entheos "divinely inspired, possessed by a god," from en "in" (see en- (2)) + theos "god" (see Thea). Acquired a derogatory sense of "excessive religious emotion" (1650s) under the Puritans; generalized sense of "fervor, zeal" (the main modern sense) is first recorded 1716.