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Borrowing from Latin ēbulliēns, present participle of ēbulliō (I boil), from bulliō (I bubble up) (English boil). Compare bubbling, bubbly, and perky, which use a similar metaphor.


  • IPA(key): /ɪˈbʊljənt/
  • (file)


ebullient (comparative more ebullient, superlative most ebullient)

  1. Enthusiastic; high-spirited.
    Synonym: zestful
    • 1908, James Ryder Randall, “Ashes”, in Maryland, my Maryland, and other poems, Baltimore, Md., New York: John Murphy Company, page 45:
      The Spring will come with its ebullient blood, / With flush of roses and imperial eyes
    • 2001, Joyce Carol Oates, Middle Age: A Romance, paperback edition, Fourth Estate, page 233:
      Marina's oddly ebullient words seemed to come to her slow as balloons
    • 2003 February 28, Nick Hopkins, “Spectator and its Tory MP editor may face charges over Taki race rant”, in The Guardian[1], →ISSN:
      Boris Johnson, the ebullient editor of the Spectator and Tory MP for Henley, is at the centre of a Scotland Yard inquiry over an allegedly racist article by the columnist Taki which provoked death threats against a leading black lawyer.
  2. (archaic) Of a liquid: boiling and bubbling, or agitated as if boiling.
    Synonyms: abubble, bubbly; see also Thesaurus:effervescent
  3. (archaic) Causing heat.
    • 1726 October 28, [Jonathan Swift], “A Further Account of the Academy. []”, in Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. [], volume II, London: [] Benj[amin] Motte, [], →OCLC, part III (A Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, Glubbdubdribb, Luggnagg, and Japan), page 82:
      It is allowed, that Senates and great Councils are often troubled with redundant, ebullient, and other peccant Humours, with many Diſeaſes of the Head and more of the Heart; with ſtrong Convulſions, with grievous Contractions of the Nerves and Sinews in both Hands, but eſpecially the Right; with Spleen, Flatus, Vertigos and Deliriums; with Scrophulous Tumors full of fœtid purulent Matter; with ſower frothy Ructations, with Canine Appetites and Crudeneſs of Digeſtion, beſides many others needleſs to mention.







  1. third-person plural future active indicative of ēbulliō