enthusiasm

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

First attested from 1603, from Middle French enthousiasme, from Late Latin enthusiasmus, from Ancient Greek ἐνθουσιασμός (enthousiasmos), from ἔνθεος (entheos, possessed by a god), from ἐν (en, in) + θεός (theos, god).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

enthusiasm (countable and uncountable, plural enthusiasms)

  1. (obsolete or historical) Possession by a god; divine inspiration or frenzy.
    • 1946, Bertrand Russell, History of Western Philosophy, ch. 1
      The intoxication that they sought was that of ‘enthusiasm’, of union with the god.
  2. Intensity of feeling; excited interest or eagerness.
  3. Something in which one is keenly interested.
    • 1968, Central States Archaeological Journal (volumes 15-16, page 154)
      My main enthusiasm is attending and seeing the progress and interest of collectors, to meet old friends, and hopefully to make new friends.
    • 2012, Nicholas Joll, Philosophy and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (page 23)
      Other Adamsian enthusiasms included: fast cars; restaurants; Bach, the Beatles, Pink Floyd and Dire Straits; []

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