producing excitement; stirring; thrilling: an exciting account of his trip to Tibet.

Origin of exciting

First recorded in 1805–15; excite + -ing2
Related formsex·cit·ing·ly, adverbnon·ex·cit·ing, adjectiveun·ex·cit·ing, adjective



verb (used with object), ex·cit·ed, ex·cit·ing.

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 formspre·ex·cite, verb (used with object), pre·ex·cit·ed, pre·ex·cit·ing.

Synonyms for excite

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for exciting

Contemporary Examples of exciting

Historical Examples of exciting

  • It would have interfered with her relations with Austin, which were beginning to be exciting.


    William J. Locke

  • "But that way was so exciting," she urged, not at all convinced.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • They leave off at the most exciting point, and are continued in the next volume.

  • They were silent, and had even forgotten the exciting event of the stealing of the horses.

  • At every recess hour the forces gathered for the exciting sport.

British Dictionary definitions for exciting



causing excitement; stirring; stimulating
Derived Formsexcitingly, adverb


verb (tr)

to arouse (a person) to strong feeling, esp to pleasurable anticipation or nervous agitation
to arouse or elicit (an emotion, response, etc); evokeher answers excited curiosity
to cause or bring about; stir upto 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 for excite

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

Word Origin and History for exciting

late 14c. (n.), "action of urging, prompting, inciting," noun of action from excite (v.). As a present participle adjective, from 1811 in sense "causing disease." Sense of "causing excitement" is from 1826.



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