"Enthusiasm" (Latin enthūsiasmus, from greek enthousiasmos, from enthousiazein, from entheos) comes from the greek word Entheos, meaning "the god within."

The ancient Greeks would use this word to describe a feeling of invigoration that they believed was caused by the presence of a god within them.

entheos (possesed)
en (in) theos (god)

En*thu"si*asm (?), n. [Gr. , fr. to be inspired or possessed by the god, fr. , , inspired: cf. enthousiasme. See Entheal, Theism.]

1.

Inspiration as if by a divine or superhuman power; ecstasy; hence, a conceit of divine possession and revelation, or of being directly subject to some divine impulse.

Enthusiasm is founded neither on reason nor divine revelation, but rises from the conceits of a warmed or overweening imagination. Locke.

2.

A state of impassioned emotion; transport; elevation of fancy; exaltation of soul; as, the poetry of enthusiasm.

Resolutions adopted in enthusiasm are often repented of when excitement has been succeeded by the wearing duties of hard everyday routine. Froude.

Exhibiting the seeming contradiction of susceptibility to enthusiasm and calculating shrewdness. Bancroft.

3.

Enkindled and kindling fervor of soul; strong excitement of feeling on behalf of a cause or a subject; ardent and imaginative zeal or interest; as, he engaged in his profession with enthusiasm.

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. Emerson.

4.

Lively manifestation of joy or zeal.

Philip was greeted with a tumultuous enthusiasm. Prescott.

 

© Webster 1913.

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