absorbing or controlling possession of the mind by any interest or pursuit; lively interest: He shows marked enthusiasm for his studies.
an occupation, activity, or pursuit in which such interest is shown: Hunting is his latest enthusiasm.
any of various forms of extreme religious devotion, usually associated with intense emotionalism and a break with orthodoxy.

1570–80; < Late Latin enthūsiasmus < Greek enthousiasmós, equivalent to enthousí(a) possession by a god (énthous, variant of éntheos having a god within, equivalent to en- en-2 + -thous, -theos god-possessing + -ia y3) + -asmos, variant, after vowel stems, of -ismos -ism

antienthusiasm, noun
hyperenthusiasm, noun
overenthusiasm, noun
preenthusiasm, noun
unenthusiasm, noun

1. eagerness, warmth, fervor, zeal, ardor, passion, devotion.

1. indifference.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
enthusiasm (ɪnˈθjuːzɪˌæzəm)
1.  ardent and lively interest or eagerness
2.  an object of keen interest; passion
3.  archaic extravagant or unbalanced religious fervour
4.  obsolete possession or inspiration by a god
[C17: from Late Latin enthūsiasmus, from Greek enthousiasmos, from enthousiazein to be possessed by a god, from entheos inspired, from en-² + theos god]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

c.1600, from M.Fr. enthousiasme, from Gk. enthousiasmos, from enthousiazein "be inspired," from entheos "inspired, possessed by a god," from en- "in" + theos "god" (see Thea). Acquired a derogatory sense of "excessive religious emotion" (1650s) under the Puritans; generalized
sense of "fervor, zeal" (the main modern sense) is first recorded 1716.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
It was clear that he gained in interest and enthusiasm during the project and
  it helped develop a range of skills and knowledge.
At the conclusion of the interview, show your enthusiasm by emphasizing your
  interest in the position.
Many authors have responded with enthusiasm.
Now investors' enthusiasm is more subdued.
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