“When Franklin found the catnip, he was euphoric – it was as if the cat were in heaven.”

What is the best definition of euphoric?

Check your answer!

Choice A - Characterized by ecstasy or an intense sense of well-being
Choice B - Marked by confusion and a feeling of bewilderment
Choice C - Pertaining to aromatherapy, or the emotive power of scents
Choice D - Related to a loss of control, especially in the face of temptation


Euphoric (adjective) – carried away by an exaggerated sense of well-being: ecstatic 

Euphoria (noun) – a state of being carried away with good feelings: ecstasy 

GRE pro tips:

The roots of euphoric include eu- (“good or well”) and fer (“to carry”), so you can see the foundations of its meaning. Someone who is euphoric is carried away with good feelings – and not just a little. When people are euphoric, they have an exaggerated sense of well-being, so much so that they may have momentarily lost touch with reality. When in a state of euphoria, people are ecstatic, blissed-out, or even intoxicated – but the feelings are typically short-lived. This is why the word is often used to describe drug-induced states. And, in fact, 18th century physicians originally used euphoric to describe the feeling of wellness that medications induced in sick patients. 

But today, the term is used more broadly to describe someone who is elated or seemingly in heaven. If you crossed the finish line after completing a marathon, for example, or got into your grad school of choice, you’d definitely feel euphoric.

Example sentences:

“She knew it would seem disingenuous to appear euphoric when her opponent won the election, so she simply congratulated the victor and bowed out gracefully – secretly, she was elated to be out of the race.”

“The pregame euphoria ramped up at the bonfire the night before and stayed with the fans until kickoff.”