exuberant vs overweening what difference

what is difference between exuberant and overweening



From Middle French exubérant, from Latin exūberāns, the present active participle of exūberō (be abundant). Put together from ex (out), and uber (udder), and originally would have referred to a cow or she-goat which was making so much milk that it naturally dripped or sprayed from the udder.


  • IPA(key): /ɪɡˈzuːbəɹənt/


exuberant (comparative more exuberant, superlative most exuberant)

  1. (of people) Very high-spirited; extremely energetic and enthusiastic.
    Synonyms: buoyant, cheerful, high-spirited
    • 1882, Frank R. Stockton, “The Lady or the Tiger?”:
      He was a man of exuberant fancy, and, withal of an authority so irresistible that, at his will, he turned his varied fancies into facts.
    • 1961, Joseph Heller, Catch-22:
      She was a tall, earthy, exuberant girl with long hair and a pretty face.
  2. (literary, of things that grow) Abundant, luxuriant.
    Synonyms: profuse, superabundant
    • 1852, The Ark, and Odd Fellows’ Western Magazine
      It pencilled each flower with rich and variegated hues, and threw over its exuberant foliage a vesture of emerald green.
    • 1972, Ken Lemmon, “Restoration Work at Studley Royal,” Garden History, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 22:
      The County Architect’s Department is starting to pleach trees to open up these vistas, now almost hidden by the exuberant growth.

Derived terms

  • exuberantly

Related terms

  • exuberance


Further reading

  • “exuberant”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
  • Douglas Harper (2001–2021), “exuberant”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.


  • Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1989.
  • Random House Webster’s Unabridged Electronic Dictionary, 1987-1996.




  1. third-person plural present active indicative of exūberō



From Latin exūberāns.



exuberant m (feminine singular exuberanta, masculine plural exuberants, feminine plural exuberantas)

  1. exuberant (of a person: very high-spirited)
  2. exuberant (abundant)

Related terms

  • exuberància



From French exubérant, from Latin exuberans.


exuberant m or n (feminine singular exuberantă, masculine plural exuberanți, feminine and neuter plural exuberante)

  1. exuberant



Alternative forms

  • over-weening


  • (UK) IPA(key): /əʊvəˈwiːnɪŋ/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /oʊvɚˈwinɪŋ/
  • Rhymes: -iːnɪŋ

Etymology 1

From Middle English overweninge, equivalent to overween +‎ -ing. Cognate with obsolete Dutch overwanig, overwaand (presumptuous; cocky; conceited).


overweening (comparative more overweening, superlative most overweening)

  1. Unduly confident; arrogant
    She wins one modeling contest in Montana and suddenly she’s overweening.
    Synonyms: presumptuous, conceited
    • 1870, Carl Schurz, George H. Thomas Eulogy
      No success rendered him overweening and no disaster was ever known to stagger his firmness.
    • 1908, Frederic Bancroft and William A. Dunning, A Sketch of Carl Schurz’s Political Career
      The Senate was displaying an overweening hauteur as if it were the government.
  2. Exaggerated, excessive.
Derived terms

Etymology 2

From Middle English overweninge, equivalent to overween +‎ -ing.


overweening (countable and uncountable, plural overweenings)

  1. (now rare) An excessively high opinion of oneself or one’s abilities; presumption, arrogance.

Etymology 3

See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.



  1. present participle of overween

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