- verb to raise a particle, atom, molecule or system from its lowest energy level (ground state) to a higher energy level
- verb to stimulate or increase the rate of activity of an organ, tissue or other body part
Origin & History of “excite”
The use of the word excite to convey ‘agitated elation’ is a comparatively recent development, first recorded from the mid 19th century. before that it was a fairly neutral verb, meaning ‘produce a response, provoke’ (as in the rather formal ‘excite much comment’). It comes, perhaps via Old French exciter, from Latin excitāre ‘call forth, arouse, produce’. this was a variant of exciēre, a compound verb formed from the prefix ex- ‘out’ and ciēre ‘move, call’ (source also of English cite, incite, recite, and solicit).