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

The most important thing was that the Tigers escaped AT&T Stadium with an exhilarating win against a quality opponent, yet there was plenty to be concerned about following the 27-21 victory in Arlington, Texas. Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al, "2 of the biggest areas Auburn plans to address after beating Oregon," 4 Sep. 2019 Tuesday nights at Chicago skate parks are long, but exhilarating for the members of froSkate. Darcel Rockett, chicagotribune.com, "'Falling is easier when it’s with friends’: FroSkate offers skateboard sisterhood for those underrepresented in the sport," 12 Sep. 2019 The stories were brutal, but the work was exhilarating. Larissa Macfarquhar, The New Yorker, "The Radical Transformations of a Battered Women’s Shelter," 13 Aug. 2019 Williams gave a star turn, exhilarating in the showbiz scenes and vulnerable in the depiction of Verdon as a defiant survivor. Los Angeles Times, "Emmy predictions: ‘When They See Us,’ ‘Chernobyl’ offer voters hard choices," 20 Aug. 2019 The manmade fun isn’t the only thing exhilarating for visitors. Travel Wisconsin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Visit the Wisconsin Dells for an overnight adventure," 14 July 2019 Some players cried, exhausted or wordlessly exhilarated. Helene Elliott, latimes.com, "USWNT once again shines on biggest stage at Women’s World Cup," 7 July 2019 Just five miles from Washington, D.C., Alexandria is a history lesson come to vibrant, exhilarating life. Patti Nickell, chicagotribune.com, "Near the nation’s capital, Alexandria offers history come to vibrant life," 1 July 2019 Hong Kong martial arts cinema at its best is exhilarating because of its sense of possibility — watching those movies means feeling that bodies can do anything. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "Netflix’s Wu Assassins series lacks the Hong Kong cinema magic," 8 Aug. 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

8 Oct 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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