• synonyms


[en-thoo-zee-az-uh m]
See more synonyms for enthusiasm on Thesaurus.com
  1. absorbing or controlling possession of the mind by any interest or pursuit; lively interest: He shows marked enthusiasm for his studies.
  2. an occupation, activity, or pursuit in which such interest is shown: Hunting is his latest enthusiasm.
  3. any of various forms of extreme religious devotion, usually associated with intense emotionalism and a break with orthodoxy.
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Origin of enthusiasm

1570–80; < Late Latin enthūsiasmus < Greek enthousiasmós, equivalent to enthousí(a) possession by a god (énthous, variant of éntheos having a god within, equivalent to en- en-2 + -thous, -theos god-possessing + -ia -y3) + -asmos, variant, after vowel stems, of -ismos -ism
Related formsan·ti·en·thu·si·asm, nounhy·per·en·thu·si·asm, nouno·ver·en·thu·si·asm, nounpre·en·thu·si·asm, nounun·en·thu·si·asm, noun


See more synonyms for enthusiasm on Thesaurus.com
1. eagerness, warmth, fervor, zeal, ardor, passion, devotion.


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

Examples from the Web for over-enthusiasm

Historical Examples

  • And some defeated themselves by a display of over-enthusiasm that manifestly veiled indifference, or perhaps downright dislike.

    Bunker Bean

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • His administration of the German Embassy was faultless in its technique, but it did not err on the side of over-enthusiasm.

  • Write and deliver a five-minute speech ridiculing a speaker who uses bombast, pomposity and over-enthusiasm.

    The Art of Public Speaking

    Dale Carnagey (AKA Dale Carnegie) and J. Berg Esenwein

British Dictionary definitions for over-enthusiasm


  1. ardent and lively interest or eagerness
  2. an object of keen interest; passion
  3. archaic extravagant or unbalanced religious fervour
  4. obsolete possession or inspiration by a god
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Word Origin

C17: from Late Latin enthūsiasmus, from Greek enthousiasmos, from enthousiazein to be possessed by a god, from entheos inspired, from en- ² + theos god
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 over-enthusiasm



c.1600, from Middle French enthousiasme (16c.) and directly from Late Latin enthusiasmus, from Greek enthousiasmos "divine inspiration," from enthousiazein "be inspired or possessed by a god, be rapt, be in ecstasy," from entheos "divinely inspired, possessed by a god," from en "in" (see en- (2)) + theos "god" (see Thea). Acquired a derogatory sense of "excessive religious emotion" (1650s) under the Puritans; generalized sense of "fervor, zeal" (the main modern sense) is first recorded 1716.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper