- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- The condition of an atom or molecule after absorbing energy from exposure to light, electricity, elevated temperature, or 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.
- 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.