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† enthusian, adj. and n.

Forms:  15–17 enthusian, 16 enthysian, 17 enthusion. (Show Less)
Origin: A borrowing from Greek, combined with an English element. Etymons: Greek ἐνθουσία  , -an suffix.
Etymology: < Byzantine Greek ἐνθουσία (see enthusiasm n.) + -an suffix.
Compare slightly earlier enthusiastic adj.  
With use as noun compare earlier enthusiast n.
 A. adj.

  Designating a person who claims (falsely or erroneously) to receive divine communication or inspiration. Also: relating to or of the nature of divine inspiration. rare.

1582   T. Bentley et al. Monument of Matrones iv. 834   At no time to seeke new reuelations, as doo the Enthusian heretikes.
1731   T. Stackhouse Refl. on Nature & Prop. of Langs. 137   That Enthusian and Natural Vehemence that moves and affects us.

1582—1731(Hide quotations)

 B. n.

  A person who claims (falsely or erroneously) to receive divine communication or inspiration; (in wider sense) a person subject to religious delusion or irrational impulses. Also: a person (supposedly) possessed by a god, demon, spirit, etc.

1611   W. Vaughan Spirit of Detraction vi. xii. 275   Packe hence therefore ye Enthusians, and be not like vnto Curdogs, that bark at a dead Lyon.
1638   R. Burton Anat. Melancholy (ed. 5) iii. iv. i. iii. 673   Of Prophets, and Enthusians [earlier eds. Enthusiasts] and Impostors, our Ecclesiasticall stories afford many examples.
1676   E. Coles Eng. Dict.   Enthysian, Enthusiast, one pretending to Divine revelation and inspiration, fanatick.
1707   E. Ward Hudibras Redivivus II. ix. 3   Those..Confusions, Occasion'd by such vile Enthusions, Who had already robb'd the Throne.
1727   J. Allin Two Pract. Disc. ii. 19   The bold Enthusian, who strains at the gnat but swallows the camel.

1611—1727(Hide quotations)


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