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[ik-sahyt] /ɪkˈsaɪt/
verb (used with object), excited, exciting.
to arouse or stir up the emotions or feelings of:
to excite a person to anger; actions that excited his father's wrath.
to arouse or stir up (emotions or feelings):
to excite jealousy or hatred.
to cause; awaken:
to excite interest or curiosity.
to stir to action; provoke or stir up:
to excite a dog by baiting him.
Physiology. to stimulate:
to excite a nerve.
Electricity. to supply with electricity for producing electric activity or a magnetic field:
to excite a dynamo.
Physics. to raise (an atom, molecule, etc.) to an excited state.
Origin of excite
1300-50; Middle English < Latin excitāre, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + citāre, frequentative of ciēre to set in motion
Related forms
preexcite, verb (used with object), preexcited, preexciting.
1. stir, awaken, stimulate, animate, kindle, inflame. 2. evoke. 4. disturb, agitate, ruffle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for excite
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Supposing—— It was cruel to excite and upset her just for that; it made the pain worse.

  • He should therefore smile at the futile attempt to excite his jealousy.

    The Man Shakespeare Frank Harris
  • An outlandish appearance, sure to excite observation, is thus avoided.

    The Roof of France Matilda Betham-Edwards
  • The opinion of numbers is necessary to excite the ambition of individuals.

  • There was no reason therefore why our appearance should excite suspicion.

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
British Dictionary definitions for excite


verb (transitive)
to arouse (a person) to strong feeling, esp to pleasurable anticipation or nervous agitation
to arouse or elicit (an emotion, response, etc); evoke: her answers excited curiosity
to cause or bring about; stir up: to excite a rebellion
to arouse sexually
(physiol) to cause a response in or increase the activity of (an organ, tissue, or part); stimulate
to raise (an atom, molecule, electron, nucleus, etc) from the ground state to a higher energy level
to supply electricity to (the coils of a generator or motor) in order to create a magnetic field
to supply a signal to a stage of an active electronic circuit
Word Origin
C14: from Latin excitāre, from exciēre to stimulate, from ciēre to set in motion, rouse
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for excite

mid-14c., "to move, stir up, instigate," from Old French esciter (12c.) or directly from Latin excitare "rouse, call out, summon forth, produce," frequentative of exciere "call forth, instigate," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + ciere "set in motion, call" (see cite). Of feelings, from late 14c. Of bodily organs or tissues, from 1831. Main modern sense of "emotionally agitate" is first attested 1821.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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