intense enjoyment, interest, or approval (in current English vernacular)
(Redirected from Exuberance)

Enthusiasm (Greek: enthousiasmos) originally meant inspiration or possession by a divine afflatus or by the presence of a God. Johnson's Dictionary, the first comprehensive dictionary of the English language, divines enthusiasm as "a vain belief of private revelation; a vain confidence of divine favour or communication." In current English vernacular the word simply means intense enjoyment, interest, or approval.

Men reacting enthusiastically


  • It is always delightful to have one's feeling expressed by some one else in language of enthusiasm one might oneself be afraid to employ.
    • Alfred Austin, Lamia's Winter-Quarters (London: Macmillan and Co., 1898), p. 68.
  • It is unfortunate, considering that enthusiasm moves the world, that so few enthusiasts can be trusted to speak the truth.
    • Arthur Balfour, letter to Mrs. Drew (17 May 1891), in Some Hawarden Letters, 1878–1913, Written to Mrs. Drew (Miss Mary Gladstone) Before and After Her Marriage, chosen and arranged by Lisle March-Phillipps and Bertram Christian (London: Nisbet & Co., 1917), p. 248.
  • ENTHUSIASM, n. A distemper of youth, curable by small doses of repentance in connection with outward applications of experience. Byron, who recovered long enough to call it "entuzy-muzy," had a relapse, which carried him off -- to Missolonghi.
    • Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic's Dictionary (1906); republished as The Devil's Dictionary (1911).
  • Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm; it is the real allegory of the tale of Orpheus—it moves stones, it charms brutes. Enthusiasm is the genius of sincerity, and truth accomplishes no victories without it.
  • Poverty is a great feeder of enthusiasm.
    • Aubrey de Vere, English Misrule and Irish Misdeeds (London: John Murray, 1848), Letter IV, p. 217.
  • Every production of genius must be the production of enthusiasm.
    • Isaac D'Israeli, "Solitude", in Curiosities of Literature (1791–1823). London: G. Routledge & Co., 1858, Vol. II, p. 52.
  • Enthusiasm is the element of success in every thing. It is the light that leads, and the strength that lifts men on and up, in the great struggles of scientific pursuit, and of professional labor. It robs endurance of difficulty and makes a pleasure of duty.
    • William Croswell Doane, "Address to the Tenth Graduating Class" (1881), in Addresses to the Graduating Classes of St. Agnes School (New York: Thomas Whittaker, 1891), p. 121.
  • Whenever the true objects of action appear, they are to be heartily sought. Enthusiasm is the height of man; it is the passing from the human to the divine.
  • A mother should desire to give her children a super-abundance of enthusiasm, to the end that, after they have lost all they are sure to lose in mixing with the world, enough may still remain to prompt and support them through great actions.
  • Do not mistake energy for enthusiasm; the softest speakers are often the most enthusiastic of men.
    • Arthur Helps, Thoughts in the Cloister and the Crowd (Glasgow: Wilson & McCormick, 1883), p. 45.
  • The most enthusiastic man in a cause is rarely chosen as the leader.
    • Arthur Helps, Thoughts in the Cloister and the Crowd (Glasgow: Wilson & McCormick, 1883), p. 56.
  • Depend upon it, my younger brethren, the bright, self-sacrificing enthusiasms of early manhood are among the most precious things in the whole course of human life.
    • Henry Liddon, Sermon V: "Influences of the Holy Spirit" (June 4, 1876), in Sermons Preached before the University of Oxford: Second Series (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1902), p. 76.
  • The Greeks have given us one of the most beautiful words of our language, the word "enthusiasm" — a God within. The grandeur of the acts of men are measured by the inspiration from which they spring. Happy is he who bears a God within.
    • Louis Pasteur, as quoted in Spiritual Literacy: Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life (1998) by Frederic Brussat and Mary Ann Brussat.
  • There is real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment. … It gives warmth and good feeling to all your personal relationships.
    • Norman Vincent Peale, as quoted in Spiritual Literacy: Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life (1998) by Frederic Brussat and Mary Ann Brussat.
  • When once enthusiasm has been turned into ridicule, all is defeated, except wealth and power.
    • Germaine de Staël, Corinne; or Italy (1807), translated by Isabel Hill (London: Richard Bentley, 1850), Book IV, ch. III, p. 55
  • Unlike stress, enthusiasm has a high energy frequency and so resonates with the creative power of the universe. This is why Ralph Waldo Emerson said that, “Nothing great has ever been achieved without enthusiasm.” The word enthusiasm comes from ancient Greek – en and theos meaning God. And the related word enthousiazein means "to be possessed by a god.” With enthusiasm you will find that you don't have to do it all by yourself. In fact, there is nothing of significance that you can do by yourself. Sustained enthusiasm brings into existence a wave of creative energy, and all you have to do then is “ride the wave.”
  • The modalities of awakened doing are acceptance, enjoyment, and enthusiasm. Each one represents a certain vibrational frequency of consciousness. You need to be vigilant to make sure that one of them operates whenever you are engaged in doing anything at all – from the most simple task to the most complex. If you are not in the state of either acceptance, enjoyment, or enthusiasm, look closely and you will find that you are creating suffering for yourself and others.
  • Let us recognise the beauty and power of true enthusiasm; and whatever we may do to enlighten ourselves and others, guard against checking or chilling a single earnest sentiment.
    • Henry Theodore Tuckerman, "New England Philosophy", in The Optimist: A Series of Essays (New York: George P. Putnam, 1850), p. 18.
  • False enthusiasms! subtle poisons! — What antidote can ever be found against you!
    • Alfred de Vigny, Servitude and Grandeur of Arms (Servitude et grandeur militaires, 1835), translated by Roger Gard (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1996), Book 3, Ch. 3, p. 105.
  • ENTHUSIASM is that temper of mind, in which the imagination has got the better of the judgment.
    • William Warburton, The Divine Legation of Moses Demonstrated (1738–1741), Vol. II, Book V, Appendix. London: Thomas Tegg and Son, 1837, Vol. II, p. 360.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 226.
  • However, 'tis expedient to be wary:
    Indifference certes don't produce distress;
    And rash enthusiasm in good society
    Were nothing but a moral inebriety.
  • No wild enthusiast ever yet could rest,
    Till half mankind were like himself possess'd.
  • Enthusiasm is that secret and harmonious spirit which hovers over the production of genius, throwing the reader of a book, or the spectator of a statue, into the very ideal presence whence these works have really originated. A great work always leaves us in a state of musing.
  • Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
  • Zwang erbittert die Schwärmer immer, aber bekehrt sie nie.
    • Opposition embitters the enthusiast but never converts him.
    • Friedrich Schiller, Cabale und Liebe, III. 1.
  • Sonderbarer Schwärmer!

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)


Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).

  • Every great and commanding movement in the annals of the world is the triumph of enthusiasm.
  • Be not afraid of enthusiasm; you need it; you can do nothing effectually without it.
  • In the whole range of human vision, nothing is more attractive than to see a young man full of promise and of hope, bending all his energies in the direction of truth and duty and God, his soul pervaded with the loftiest enthusiasm, and his life consecrated to the noblest ends. To be such a young man is to rival the noblest and best of men in heroic valor and Christian chivalry. Nay, to be such a young man is to be like Christ, the highest type, the most illustrious example of enthusiasm the world has ever seen.
  • Those who have arrived at any very eminent degree of excellence in the practice of an art or profession have commonly been actuated by a species of enthusiasm in their pursuit of it. They have kept one object in view amidst all the vicissitudes of time and fortune.
Wikipedia has an article about: