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enthuse, v.

Frequency (in current use): 
Origin: Formed within English, by back-formation. Etymon: enthusiasm n.
Etymology: Back-formation < enthusiasm n.
orig. U.S. colloq.

1. transitive. Apparently: to engender enthusiasm about. Obsolete. rare.

1827   D. Douglas Let. 9 July in A. G. Harvey Douglas of Fir (1947) xii. 146   My humble exertions will I trust convey and enthuse, and draw attention to the beautifully varied verdure of N. W. America.

1827—1827(Hide quotations)


 a. transitive. To fill (a person or group) with enthusiasm; to inspire enthusiasm within (a person or group); to make enthusiastic.

1844   [implied in: Jeffersonian (Macon, Mississippi) 24 Aug.   The prospects of the Democratic party were never more cheering. The people..are thoroughly enthused. (at enthused adj.)].
1846   Weekly Sentinel (Vicksburg, Mississippi) 24 Nov.   Young, the man whose election..has so enthused the Whigs of late, is a strong advocate of negro suffrage.
1869   Cincinnati Daily Enquirer 23 Aug. 4/5   The only democrat whose nomination..could enthuse the Democracy of Ohio.
1918   E. Wallace Down Under Donovan v. 44   A million francs, think of it! Isn't it sufficient to enthuse a man without a profession?
1968   Guardian 13 July 8/6   Edmund Blunden's sudden resignation, in mid-term, has enthused nobody.
2015   N.Y. Rev. Bks. 13 Aug. 33/2   This problem is exacerbated by Xi's lack of any persuasive ideology to enthuse Party members.

1844—2015(Hide quotations)


 b. intransitive. To fill someone with enthusiasm; to make someone enthusiastic.

1859   New Orleans Daily Crescent 2 Nov. 1/3   It was some time after the cannon had ceased to bang, the rockets to pop, and the music to enthuse, before the meeting organized.
1914   L. H. Bailey Standard Cycl. Hort. II. 1200/2   Undoubtedly there is a tendency..to strive only to enthuse and amuse.
1962   Fitchburg (Mass.) Sentinel 6 Apr.   This requires the ability not only to direct but to enthuse, inspire, and create confidence in the department and its policies.
2007   Financial Times 18 July 12/5   The best leaders..know how to enthuse and inspire.

1859—2007(Hide quotations)


 a. intransitive. To grow enthusiastic; to behave enthusiastically; to display or express enthusiasm. In later use: to express enjoyment, interest, or approval regarding someone or something; to praise or commend someone or something enthusiastically; to gush.In early use often employed disapprovingly; cf. note at enthusiasm n. 4a.

1864   Daily Confederate (Raleigh, N. Carolina) 14 Apr.   He so much enthused that he got up a company of volunteers and promised them he would never leave them.
1880   R. Grant Confessions Frivolous Girl iv. 180   I admit he began to enthuse a little.
1912   W. Owen Let. 22 Sept. (1967) 162   I cannot enthuse over the things as Leslie does.
1938   ‘D. Hume’ Good-bye to Life v. 61   The prospect of a stay at Three Gables was nothing to enthuse about.
1957   Times 11 Nov. 13/3   She enthused rapturously on the advantages of being on the telephone.
2013   Guardian 31 Dec. 17/1   This is geomagnetic therapy, they say, enthusing about its beneficial effect on the heart.

1864—2013(Hide quotations)


 b. transitive. With direct speech as object: to say or write in an enthusiastic manner.

1897   Judy 10 Mar. 119/1   His wicked eye caught mine—‘how delightful,’ he enthused—‘you're the gentleman I met yesterday.’
1945   Opportunity Summer 148/1   ‘Do you sing, Artie?’ The colored boy smiled modestly. ‘A little.’ ‘A little, my eye,’ enthused Bobbie.
1982   Cincinnati Mag. July 26/2   Thomas and his partners are doing quite nicely, thank you. ‘We're way ahead of projections,’ Thomas enthuses.
1993   Wired Mar. (Premiere Issue) 17   ‘Imagine Flight Simulator in full-blown photo-realistic color,’ they enthuse.
2013   L. Miller Parallel i. 9   ‘Hey, honey! How's it going? Having fun?’ ‘Yep!’ I enthuse, trying to sound upbeat.

1897—2013(Hide quotations)


This entry has been updated (OED Third Edition, September 2018).

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