ex·​ci·​ta·​tion | \ ˌek-ˌsī-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce excitation (audio) , ˌek-sə- \

Definition of excitation

: excitement especially : the disturbed or altered condition resulting from stimulation of an individual, organ, tissue, or cell

Examples of excitation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the case of Europa, the excitation energy doesn't come from light, but that energy is indirectly powered by Jupiter's magnetic fields. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Europa probably glows in the dark, and that may tell us what’s in it," 10 Nov. 2020 Another possible explanation for horror films’ positive effects is the excitation transfer theory popularized by Dolf Zillmann, dean emeritus and professor of information sciences, communication and psychology at the University of Alabama. Nicole Johnson, National Geographic, "How horror movies can help people overcome real-world trauma," 30 Oct. 2020 In behavioral studies, the team found that this excitation was in full swing in the posterior amygdala neurons projecting into the MPN during mating. Emily Willingham, Scientific American, "Neural Switch Flips on Aggression in Male Mice," 3 Aug. 2020 When a group of atomic nuclei vibrate, their collective excitation is instead called a phonon. Daniel Garisto, Scientific American, "Direct Proof of Dark Matter May Lurk at Low-Energy Frontiers," 9 June 2020 Scientists have long suspected that other particles might play a role in that de-excitation, especially neutrons, which carry no electrical charge and can penetrate nuclei and take away extra energy. Ling Xin, Scientific American, "Carbon Conundrum: Experiment Aims to Re-create Synthesis of Key Element," 19 Mar. 2020 Instead of having individual mathematical descriptions, particles become components of a more complicated function that describes all of them at once, often with entirely new particles emerging as the excitations of the global phase. Quanta Magazine, "Physicists Aim to Classify All Possible Phases of Matter," 3 Jan. 2018 But presidential campaigns are overwhelmingly public performances in which candidates must convincingly assume the mantle of leadership, working the levers of inspiration, excitation, and, on occasion, mass delusion. Caroline Fraser, The New York Review of Books, "Warren in the Trap," 13 Feb. 2020 In certain phases, [quantum] excitations generally behave like new emergent particles. Quanta Magazine, "Taming Superconductors With String Theory," 21 Jan. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'excitation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of excitation

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about excitation

Time Traveler for excitation

Time Traveler

The first known use of excitation was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for excitation

Last Updated

25 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Excitation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excitation. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for excitation


ex·​ci·​ta·​tion | \ ˌek-ˌsī-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce excitation (audio) , ˌek-sə- How to pronounce excitation (audio) \

Medical Definition of excitation

a : the disturbed or altered condition resulting from arousal of activity (as by neural or electrical stimulation) in an individual organ or tissue
b : the arousing of such activity

More from Merriam-Webster on excitation

Nglish: Translation of excitation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about excitation

Comments on excitation

What made you want to look up excitation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!