Definition of excite in English:



[with object]
  • 1Cause (someone) to feel very enthusiastic and eager.

    ‘flying still excites me’
    ‘Gould was excited by these discoveries’
    • ‘For me, Life Through My Eyes is about what inspires me, excites me, aggravates me, relaxes me, outrages me and helps me.’
    • ‘One of the things that so excited me at the outset was that this show is about my life!’
    • ‘Their struggle from such a low point in their lives inspires and… erm… excites me.’
    • ‘I was quite excited by the discoveries that afternoon, even though at the time I had no idea that I had actually bagged a new genus of fossil fish that day.’
    • ‘In reality what it is about is trying to inspire and excite people to think about the town centre.’
    • ‘He felt excited by his discoveries and wished there was someone simpatico whom he could share it with.’
    • ‘That's all I wanted to do, not thinking that I would make waves, change minds, excite people, incite people, turn on people, repulse people.’
    • ‘Not for a very long time has the discovery of new music so profoundly moved and excited me as the contents of this disc.’
    • ‘I told myself I wasn't returning to work until I could find a job that excited me in the worst way.’
    • ‘My grandfather was excited by his discovery and contacted his brother to expand the program by working collectively with other events.’
    • ‘For Davis to beat the recall, he must do more to excite his own troops to come to his rescue.’
    • ‘Not many though write with such stark conviction that the music moves, scares and excites you all at once.’
    • ‘‘… The Fascist Brothel’ may well excite the art-rock lovers but those who crave for a bit of style to go with it may be left a little disappointed.’
    • ‘I am excited to see gay cinema coming into its own.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, I made him feel relaxed, and his work excited me.’
    • ‘Indeed, the opportunity to hone his skills as a tactician and motivator excites him much more than completing a century knock.’
    • ‘The concept immediately excited Niels Bohr, Pauli, Einstein, Heisenberg and others interested in quantum theory.’
    thrill, exhilarate, animate, enliven, rouse, stir, move, stimulate, galvanize, electrify, fire the imagination of, fire the enthusiasm of
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    1. 1.1 Arouse (someone) sexually.
      ‘his Mediterranean vibrancy excited and stimulated her’
      • ‘Even the most graphic porn doesn't excite you any more.’
      • ‘I suppose one could see it as an old man getting excited by the sexuality of young girls.’
      • ‘Doesn't excite me sexually, but I could certainly watch it again and again, even as it makes me wince.’
      • ‘Separated by the confines of the performance space, dancers perform the unsuggestible or move the figures in sexually provocative ways to excite a growing crowd and entice them to stay on their side.’
      • ‘Her fear, her attempts to resist him only excite his lust.’
      • ‘Concentrate on areas that particularly excite you, but try not to stimulate only the most obvious bits.’
      • ‘There was a doctor at one point who basically would not perform the final surgery on a male to female person unless she sexually excited him.’
      • ‘What excites a person sexually (particularly if it's only visual) is as distinct as that person's fingerprints.’
      • ‘Also, boys who are smart get me very excited.’
      • ‘He excited me in every way right from the beginning, and that excitement never went away.’
      • ‘Maybe he's very disturbed because he was excited by her pain?’
      arouse, arouse sexually, make someone feel sexually excited, stimulate, titillate, inflame
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  • 2Give rise to (a feeling or reaction)

    ‘the ability to excite interest in others’
    • ‘The system is designed to send vibrations to sensitive parts of the driver's body, and it could excite feelings in them that have long lain dormant.’
    • ‘Third, to excite feelings of devotion, these being aroused more effectively by things seen than by things heard.’
    • ‘Can there be any group, on the entire planet, that so excites the hatred of the British public?’
    • ‘It was wrong to use private letters from bereaved relations of soldiers killed in Iraq in order to excite sympathy for his own doubts and anguish, knowing that their suffering must be incomparably greater.’
    • ‘Therefore, I shall only name a few of the attractions, enough to elicit and excite the public curiosity.’
    • ‘Holmes only chooses subjects that excite his curiosity and sympathy as well as his literary admiration.’
    • ‘But it is an investment which generates praise, rather than excites passion.’
    • ‘An even closer examination excites a formidable reaction - that is to say, the price is worthy of the label!’
    • ‘There is something specific about water that excites desire and envy.’
    • ‘Yet it excites no nostalgia: glad to have been, we don't dream of going back.’
    • ‘So, since their sectional interest excites no passions amongst the populace, some are attracted by more radical measures.’
    • ‘It's interest groups that have gone public and have learned to excite public apprehensions and public opposition.’
    • ‘There were very few overcoats amongst them, and their appearance certainly excited the pity and compassion of the people they passed.’
    • ‘The smell of the sweet South Pacific sea air mingling with vivid island flowers excites the passions.’
    • ‘If the advert merely excites your curiosity or interest, something Maloney calls curious disbelief, that will be enough.’
    • ‘If the sounds in music do not combine in a way that excites interest, then there is no reason to pay attention.’
    • ‘Similarly East Timor excited passions and dredged up long-suppressed feelings of national guilt.’
    • ‘The disorder that displacement causes excites contemporary passions, for and against.’
    • ‘The aroma of the sea brought back fond memories and excited new feelings, the cry of gulls overhead was dearer than any symphony.’
    • ‘Nothing in his uncle Gaius so excited his envy and admiration as the fact that he had in so short a time run through the vast wealth which Tiberius had left him.’
    provoke, stir up, elicit, rouse, arouse, stimulate, kindle, trigger, trigger off, touch off, spark off, awaken, incite, instigate, foment, bring out, cause, bring about
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  • 3Produce a state of increased energy or activity in (a physical or biological system)

    ‘the energy of an electron is sufficient to excite the atom’
    • ‘The harmless radio waves excite protons that form the nuclei of hydrogen atoms in the body.’
    • ‘ATP provides the energy to excite the electrons, and luciferin is one of the relatively rare molecules that gives off energy as light rather than heat.’
    • ‘In conventional solar panels the energy from the sun excites electrons in a semiconducting material such as silicon, creating the current flow.’
    • ‘Alkaline phosphatase-labeled complexes react with the substrate creating a chemical reaction and a source of energy to excite the dioxetane substrate.’
    • ‘The more massive salt molecules themselves need a larger contribution of energy in order to excite them.’
    • ‘By giving the vaccine along with another drug that excites the immune system, doctors can teach Bonet's own immune system to fight her cancer.’
    • ‘External energy pumped into the atoms of the lasing medium excites electrons to higher energy states; returning to their base state, they emit photons.’
    • ‘Normal epithelial tissue gives off yellow-green fluorescence when excited by helium-cadmium laser light.’
    • ‘The center also activates the autonomic motor nerve cells in the cranial nerve nuclei that excite peristalsis in the smooth muscle of the distal esophageal body and relax the lower esophageal sphincter.’
    • ‘‘In our new approach, the act of MRI scanning itself excites protons in blood cells as they pass through the plane of the scan,’ Judd explained.’
    • ‘Now, when this wavefront hits a material, some of the wavelets will hit atoms and excite electrons to a higher energy state.’
    • ‘MRI relies on electromagnetic energy to excite water molecules in the brain to create an anatomical map of the brain.’
    • ‘Minute clam odor traces can excite the nervous system, which then launches an attack on the prey.’
    • ‘Heat is one example; if the sample is heated, thermal energy will excite some electrons up into the Conduction Band.’
    • ‘The absorbed energy excites electrons in the phosphorescent material and causes them to be caught in potential energy troughs.’
    • ‘The researchers sent single photons into a crystal whose atomic states had been excited by laser pulses.’


Middle English (in the sense ‘incite someone to do something’): from Old French exciter or Latin excitare, frequentative of exciere ‘call out or forth’. excite (sense 1) dates from the mid 19th century.