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Ebullient: Word Wednesday

Ebullient! That’s me when I have heard good news 🙂

What does Merriam-Webster have to say about it:


adjective ebul·lient \i-ˈbu̇l-yənt, -ˈbəl-\
Popularity: Top 30% of words

: boiling, agitated
: characterized by ebullience : having or showing liveliness and enthusiasm <ebullient performers>
ebulliently adverb

On hearing good news, I show liveliness and enthusiasm as opposed to “boiling” or becoming “agitated.” Oh! come on good news!

Did you know?

Someone who is ebullient is bubbling over with enthusiasm, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the adjective ebullient derives from the Latin verb ebullire, which means “to bubble out.” (The stem bullire is an ancestor of our word boil and derives from bulla, the Latin word for “bubble.”) In its earliest known uses in English in the late 1500s, ebullient was used in the sense of “boiling” or “bubbling” that might have described a pot simmering on the stove. Only later did the word’s meaning broaden to encompass emotional agitation (particularly of the exuberant kind) in addition to the tempestuous roiling of a boiling liquid.

Origin and Etymology

Latin ebullient-, ebulliens, present participle of ebullire to bubble out, from e- + bullire to bubble, boil — more at boil

First Known Use: 1599


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  1. The first time I heard the word it was spoken by Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation. The crowd was getting too ebullient. Lovely when a program teaches as well as entertains.

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