ef·​fu·​sive i-ˈfyü-siv How to pronounce effusive (audio)
: marked by the expression of great or excessive emotion or enthusiasm
effusive praise
archaic : pouring freely
: characterized or formed by a nonexplosive outpouring of lava
effusive rocks
effusively adverb
effusiveness noun

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Effusive History Is Overflowing

We've used effusive in English to describe excessive outpourings since the 17th century. In the 1800s, geologists adopted the specific sense related to flowing lava—or to hardened rock formed from flowing lava. Effusive can be traced, via the Medieval Latin adjective effūsīvus ("generating profusely, lavish"), to the Latin verb effundere ("to pour out"), which itself comes from fundere ("to pour") plus a modification of the prefix ex- ("out"). Our verb effuse has the same Latin ancestors. A person effuses when speaking effusively. Liquids can effuse as well, as in "water effusing from a pipe."

Examples of effusive in a Sentence

They offered effusive thanks for our help. often effusive no matter what the occasion, they are even more so at weddings and funerals
Recent Examples on the Web The last time a national-championship coach was so effusive, by name, about the other team’s star so soon after the buzzer? Sean Gregory, TIME, 8 Apr. 2024 What are the Dolphins getting in Anthony Weaver, their new defensive coordinator? Future Hall of Famer J.J. Watt, the most accomplished player on the one defense that Weaver has coordinated, was effusive in his comments on Tuesday. Barry Jackson, Miami Herald, 6 Feb. 2024 The direct-sales pitch is that this woman can run a cottage industry from home in her spare time, on her own terms, without having to pay for a babysitter or a business degree, and surrounded by a like-minded community of effusive salespeople and instant friends. Jessica Winter, The New Yorker, 20 Mar. 2024 Nevertheless, Mo’s effusive praises were not enough to protect him against the nationalist attacks. Nectar Gan, CNN, 11 Mar. 2024 Fassbender was equally as effusive about working with Vikander. Nasha Smith, Peoplemag, 7 Nov. 2023 During a confirmation hearing last week, members of the council were effusive in their praise for Thompson, who is a Baltimore native, a military veteran and an attorney with experience in private practice. Emily Opilo, Baltimore Sun, 22 Jan. 2024 Paranoid and living his life in as much privacy as possible, the film's ending is an incredible feat of powerful acting — and a generous reminder that Hackman never lost a step in his effusive career. Eric Farwell, EW.com, 27 Oct. 2023 Publicly, Reid was effusive last week in his praise for the Raiders’ practice facility, where the Chiefs had workouts ahead of the Super Bowl. Jesse Newell, Kansas City Star, 15 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'effusive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Medieval Latin effūsīvus "generating profusely, lavish," from Latin effūsus (past participle of effundere "to pour out, discharge, expend") + -īvus -ive — more at effuse entry 1

First Known Use

circa 1687, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of effusive was circa 1687


Dictionary Entries Near effusive

Cite this Entry

“Effusive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/effusive. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


ef·​fu·​sive i-ˈfyü-siv How to pronounce effusive (audio)
: expressing or showing much emotion
effusive thanks for their anniversary present
effusively adverb
effusiveness noun

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