[en-thoo-zee-ast, -ist]
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  1. a person who is filled with enthusiasm for some principle, pursuit, etc.; a person of ardent zeal: a sports enthusiast.
  2. a religious visionary or fanatic.

Origin of enthusiast

1600–10; < Greek enthousiastḗs one inspired, equivalent to enthousi- (see enthusiasm) + -astēs -ast, variant of -istēs -ist after i
Related formsan·ti·en·thu·si·ast, noun

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for enthusiast


  1. a person filled with or motivated by enthusiasm; fanatic
  2. archaic a religious visionary, esp one whose zeal for religion is extravagant or unbalanced
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

Word Origin and History for enthusiast

1560s, pejorative, "one who believes himself possessed of divine revelations or special communication from God," from Greek enthousiastes "a person inspired," from enthousiazein (see enthusiasm). General sense (not always entirely pejorative) is from mid-18c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper