1 : boiling, agitated
2 : having or showing liveliness and enthusiasm : exuberant
Did You Know?
Someone who is ebullient is bubbling over with enthusiasm, so it shouldn't be much of a surprise that the adjective ebullient derives from the Latin verb ebullire, which means "to bubble out." (The stem bullire is an ancestor of our word boil and derives from bulla, the Latin word for "bubble.") In its earliest known uses in English in the late 1500s, ebullient was used in the sense of "boiling" or "bubbling" that might have described a pot simmering on the stove. Only later did the word's meaning broaden to encompass emotional agitation (particularly of the exuberant kind) in addition to the tempestuous roiling of a boiling liquid.
"Keegan, effortlessly ebullient even on his worst days, is probably the easiest person in the history of civilization to have a conversation with…." — Jay Martel, The New Yorker (online), 9 Sept. 2015
"You have to feel ebullient in what you're wearing.… Especially in the spring, you want to enjoy yourself." — Alexa Adams, quoted in Reuters UK, 16 Sept. 2015
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Test Your Vocabulary:
Fill in the blanks to create a verb that means "to show liveliness or exhilaration" and that derives from a Latin verb meaning "to begin to boil": _ f _ e _ v _ s _ e.VIEW THE ANSWER
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