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[ig-zil-uh-reyt] /ɪgˈzɪl əˌreɪt/
verb (used with object), exhilarated, exhilarating.
to enliven; invigorate; stimulate:
The cold weather exhilarated the walkers.
to make cheerful or merry.
Origin of exhilarate
1530-40; < Latin exhilarātus past participle of exhilarāre to gladden, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + hilarāre to cheer (see hilarity); see -ate1
Related forms
exhilaratingly, adverb
exhilarator, noun
unexhilarated, adjective
unexhilarating, adjective
1. animate, inspirit, elate. 2. cheer, gladden.
1, 2. depress. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for exhilarating
  • It was as horrific and exhilarating as it sounds.
  • There are exhilarating moments, and there are some undeniably tense scenes.
  • It was one of the more exhilarating marine experiences I've ever had.
  • Building to an exhilarating conclusion, this book cries out for a sequel.
  • It has been an exhilarating experience, one of learning and revelation.
  • After a few hours and many miles of riding, your body is thanking you for an exhilarating day and fantastic workout.
  • This unbounded universe has an exhilarating effect on me.
  • Marks's attention to detail is exhilarating, leaving few questions unanswered.
  • His poems, the bulk in free verse, are no less exhilarating and infectious.
  • You want to find a salesperson who speaks your language and who will call you when an exhilarating riesling arrives at the shop.
British Dictionary definitions for exhilarating


causing strong feelings of excitement and happiness: an exhilarating helicopter trip
Derived Forms
exhilaratingly, adverb


(transitive) to make lively and cheerful; gladden; elate
Derived Forms
exhilaration, noun
exhilarative, exhilaratory, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin exhilarāre, from hilarāre to cheer; see hilarious
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for exhilarating



1530s, from Latin exhilaratus "cheerful, merry," past participle of exhilarare "gladden, cheer," from ex- "thoroughly" (see ex-) + hilarare "make cheerful," from hilarus "cheerful" (see hilarity). Related: Exhilarated; exhilarating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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