exhilarate

verb
ex·​hil·​a·​rate | \ ig-ˈzi-lə-ˌrāt How to pronounce exhilarate (audio) \
exhilarated; exhilarating

Definition of exhilarate

transitive verb

: to make (someone) very happy and excited or elated was exhilarated by her success It's a demanding dining experience that may exhaust and exasperate some customers, but exhilarate those who desire a challenge more than comfort.— Thomas Matthews Uncle George tells stories … and exhilarates everybody with his good humour and hospitality.— Charles Dickens When antislavery senator Charles Sumner was honored in a demonstration that exhilarated antebellum Boston, Louisa was there …— Madeleine B. Stern

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Other Words from exhilarate

exhilarative \ ig-​ˈzi-​lə-​ˌrā-​tiv How to pronounce exhilarative (audio) \ adjective

Did You Know?

Many people find "exhilarate" a difficult word to spell. It's easy to forget that silent "h" in there, and is it an "er" or "ar" after the "l"? It may be easier to remember the spelling if you know that "exhilarate" is ultimately derived from the Latin adjective hilarus, meaning "cheerful." (This also explains why the earliest meaning of "exhilarate" is "to make cheerful.") "Exhilarate" comes from "exhilaratus," the past participle of "exhilarare," which is formed by combining ex- and hilarare, a verb that derives from "hilarus" and means "to cheer or gladden." If "hilarus" looks familiar, that may be because it's also the source of "hilarious" and "hilarity" (as well as "hilariously" and "hilariousness," of course).

Examples of exhilarate in a Sentence

the exhilarating feeling of flying that hang gliding offers the climactic moment of commencement ceremonies usually exhilarates graduates and proud parents alike

Recent Examples on the Web

They were exhilarated despite the specter of AIDS and the growing backlash against the gay pride movement. Peter Keough, BostonGlobe.com, "Doc Talk: Endless love, film school confidential, kind of a drag," 3 July 2019 The national mood on this matter was nicely summarized in a recent New York Times book review that mentioned one man’s effort to unplug completely from the churn of daily news: His life seemed sad and lonely, not exhilarating. Christopher Beha, Harper's magazine, "Winning the Peace," 10 May 2019 The back-and-forth was exhilarating, and went on for months. Brendan Buck For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Congress should eliminate the debt limit," 19 June 2019 Isn't there just something extra exhilarating about crossing things off your bucket list? Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Refugio La Roca's Hotel Rooms Have Hammock-Like Nets So You Can Be Suspended Off a Colombian Cliff," 12 June 2019 By all accounts, the capacity house of 3,000 was exhilarated by the musicians’ artistry. John Edward Hasse, WSJ, "The Concert That Changed Music History," 24 Dec. 2018 That eye, the subject of Philippe Costamagna’s often exhilarating and informative, sometimes self-indulgent new book, could tell at a glance the real McCoy from a fake. Willard Spiegelman, WSJ, "‘The Eye’ Review: Arbiters of the Authentic," 9 Aug. 2018 Getting into a bidding war over a John Galliano newspaper print Dior top on eBay is also exhilarating. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Has Instagram Officially Replaced Etsy as The Best Place to Find Rare Vintage Fashion?," 26 July 2018 Juggling a production company, a TV show, a beauty business, a high-profile romance, and motherhood may seem daunting to most, but Lopez finds her busy life exhilarating. Harper's BAZAAR, "Jennifer Lopez Is (Still) on Top of the World," 9 Jan. 2019

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

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First Known Use of exhilarate

1540, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for exhilarate

Latin exhilaratus, past participle of exhilarare, from ex- + hilarare to gladden, from hilarus cheerful — more at hilarious

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Statistics for exhilarate

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for exhilarate

The first known use of exhilarate was in 1540

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More Definitions for exhilarate

exhilarate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of exhilarate

: to cause (someone) to feel very happy and excited

exhilarate

verb
ex·​hil·​a·​rate | \ ig-ˈzi-lə-ˌrāt How to pronounce exhilarate (audio) \
exhilarated; exhilarating

Kids Definition of exhilarate

: to make cheerful or excited

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