From Latin exhilarāre (“to delight, to gladden, to make merry”), from ex- (“prefix meaning ‘out, away’”) (from Proto-Indo-European *h₁eǵʰs (“out”)) + hilarāre, present infinitive of hilarō (“to cheer, to gladden”), from hilaris (“cheerful, light-hearted, lively”) (from Ancient Greek ἱλαρός (hilarós, “cheerful, merry”), from ἵλαος (hílaos, “gracious, kind, propitious”), from Proto-Indo-European *sōlh₂- (“comfort, mercy”)).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ɪɡˈzɪləɹeɪt/, /ɛɡ-/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ɪɡˈzɪləˌɹeɪt/, /ɛɡ-/
Audio (GA) (file)
- Hyphenation: ex‧hil‧a‧rate
- (transitive) To cheer, to cheer up, to gladden, to make happy.
Good news exhilarates the mind; wine exhilarates the drinker.
- 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], “Musicke a Remedy”, in The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; republished as The Anatomy of Melancholy. What It Is, with All the Kinds, Causes, Symptomes, Prognosticks, & Seuerall Cures of It. In Three Partitions, with Their Severall Sections, Members & Subsections. Philosophically, Medicinally, Historically, Opened and Cut Up, Oxford: Printed for Henry Cripps, 1628, OCLC 220775438, part 2, section 2, member 6, subsection 3, page 276:
- Any and ſundry are the meanes, which Philoſophers and Phyſicians haue preſcribed to exhilarate a ſorrowfull heart, to diuert thoſe fixed and intent cares and meditations, which in this malady ſo much offend; but in my judgement none ſo preſent, none ſo powerfull, none ſo [a]ppoſite as a cup of ſtrong drinke, mirth, muſicke, and merry company.
- (transitive) To excite, to thrill.
- exhilarate in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
- exhilarate in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913