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excited state

noun, Physics.
any of the energy levels of a physical system, especially an atom, molecule, etc., that has higher energy than the lowest energy level.
Origin of excited state
First recorded in 1925-30 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for excited state
Historical Examples
  • He was not well, he was in a highly nervous and excited state.

    Galusha the Magnificent Joseph C. Lincoln
  • It was of no use to oppose her while her mind was in an excited state.

    A Mortal Antipathy Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • Meanwhile the population of Edinburgh was in an excited state.

  • Between that place and the Shaturgurdan the natives were in a restless and excited state.

    Our Soldiers W.H.G. Kingston
  • In their excited state they would not have hesitated to do it.

    The Secret of the Island W.H.G. Kingston (translation from Jules Verne)
  • I know the reason (it was only too obvious) for her strange, excited state.

    Much Darker Days Andrew Lang (AKA A. Huge Longway)
  • No doubt it was late, but his excited state might have predisposed him in my favor.

  • Reconciliation was impossible in the excited state of the combatants.

    Alone Marion Harland
  • Spain was at this time in an excited state, and split up into parties.

  • The effort at self-control in my nervous, excited state, was too much for me.

    Rose Clark Fanny Fern
Contemporary definitions for excited state

a condition of a physical system, esp. an atom, molecule, etc., in which it has higher energy than the lowest possible energy level; the condition of an atom or molecule after absorbing energy


Excited states tend to be short-lived as they lose energy through collisions or emissions and relax back to ground state.'s 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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excited state in Medicine

excited state ex·cit·ed state (ĭk-sī'tĭd)
The condition of an atom or molecule after absorbing energy from exposure to light, electricity, elevated temperature, or a chemical reaction, and which may be a necessary prelude to a chemical reaction or to the emission of light.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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excited state in Science
excited state
A state of a physical system in which the system has more than the minimum possible potential energy. Excited states tend to be unstable and easily or spontaneously revert to lower energy states, giving off energy. Compare ground state.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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