English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am looking for a word or an expression to describe an overreaction to positive news or positive events. Something that has to do with excessive enthusiasm like when you you are unable to control your emotions. Thanks

share|improve this question
Overjoyed?, but there must be a better word, one that stresses more the over part than joy. What could that be? It's more like overexcitement in fact. – Kris Jun 16 '14 at 13:49
Hyperbolic might also work, but that is more deliberate exaggeration – Sam Jun 16 '14 at 15:35
Positively or negatively? – tchrist Jun 16 '14 at 18:16
Does euphoria make a good answer? "a feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness." – justhalf Jun 17 '14 at 2:54
Hysterical can work, for both positive or negative overreactions. – Kevin Rubin Jun 17 '14 at 15:10

16 Answers 16

up vote 15 down vote accepted

I don't think any of the answers provided really express over-reaction to positive news. You could still use jubilant, ecstatic or bursting regardless of whether or not the subject is justifiably excited. I believe gushing is the adjective you are looking for:


(Of speech or writing) effusive or exaggeratedly enthusiastic

Or the verb form:


To make an excessive display of sentiment or enthusiasm

And an example sentence:

"Bob was gushing over Radiohead's performance last night. I thought that the performance was good, but it wasn't really worthy of the amount of praise that he put forth."

share|improve this answer
If not for "unable to control your emotions" in the final sentence of the initial question/request, I'd vote for gush. But gush has connotations of superficiality, impermanence, and inauthenticity as well as of excess, while loss of control of one's emotions can reflect deep, genuine feeling. If excess is what Peter555 is getting at, gush is fine. If loss of control is important here, avoid the perjorative and use one of the other expressions below. – Joan Pederson Jun 18 '14 at 13:53

Ecstatic comes to mind for a single word

Feeling or expressing overwhelming happiness or joyful excitement.


  • When my eyes finally adjusted I was ecstatic with happiness.
  • Here's how ecstatic Boston fans got the news from their morning paper.
  • But I hoped he felt the same as I had, ecstatic and bubbling with happiness.
share|improve this answer

To burst into tears of joy may be a useful expression:

describes that you are unable to control your feelings because you are too happy and you cannot but show it.

Also: to be beside oneself with joy

beside oneself: almost out of one's senses from a strong emotion, as from joy, delight, anger, fear, or grief.

share|improve this answer

You can use overexcited to describe someone who is reacting excessively to a positive or negative situation.

For example:

"Calm down, stop getting overexcited!"

share|improve this answer
As usual, I didn't notice that this has already been mentioned in a comment. Leaving it here as it should be one of the answers. – Dom Jun 16 '14 at 17:29
Per meta.english.stackexchange.com/a/364 for the use–mention distinction, please use an italic face not a bold one. It makes the page look too heavy otherwise, and furthermore runs counter to typographic convention both on this site and in scholarly works. And don’t capitalize them either. – tchrist Jun 16 '14 at 18:15
Understood and implemented. I will change my older answers over the next few months so as not to spam the front page. For future interactions, you could explain, give the poster a chance to edit, and then edit yourself if they don't respond. Your accompanying message was informative, yet not exactly friendly. Beginning your comment with "Hi user," would've made a lot of difference. Thank you for letting me know. – Dom Jun 20 '14 at 9:52

How about 'ebullient' (adj.); 'ebullience' (noun)--the quality of lively or enthusiastic expression of thoughts or feelings. e.g., 'he was ebullient over/at the news of his promotion to manager.'

share|improve this answer
I was coming in here to also post this - I think it's the best one. – Jim Beam Jun 16 '14 at 18:35

The first word that comes to my mind is jubilant or jubilation from Latin jūbilātiō meaning wild shouting:

a feeling of great joy and celebration

Similarly there's elated/elation: joyfulness or exaltation of spirit, as from success, pleasure, or relief; high spirits.

Overjoyed, ecstatic, enraptured, delirious, rhapsodic...

For phrases, there are some idioms: in seventh heaven, happy as a clam (an old saying), on cloud nine, tickled pink/tickled to death, over the moon, walking/floating on air.*

*these make me feel really old!

share|improve this answer

In my experience, its often easiest and most effective to just do something like this:

Michael was overly excited at the score of the soccer game.

Its a simpler approach but that often ends up being more powerful in the text. Also, if this is a situation where you can include dialog, ie fiction; then you can handle this in dialogue and have an even more powerful effect.

"Why are you so overly excited by such a simple game" she asked

This way you can set the stage in that its too much, and hammer home the point with a character's point of view.

share|improve this answer

Another option that usually applies to overly enthusiastic opinion:

Jane was raving about the new iPhone specifications.

This word can be flipped around to also be excessively negative:

Billy was raving mad that the new kindle didn't support the voice features the old one did.

share|improve this answer
Did you really need to post four separate answers rather than a single answer with four choices? – tchrist Jun 16 '14 at 18:15
Kept thinking of more, and they were distinctly different rather than expansions of the first idea. – Denise Skidmore Jun 16 '14 at 18:20

If the news is of a sentimental nature, you might say the person was sappy.

When I told Jane about Billy's first steps, she got all sappy on me.

Sue told me a really sappy story about Todd's new girlfriend.

But you wouldn't say:

Randy was sappy about the quarterly projections.

You might say

Randy's reaction to the quarterly projections was overblown.

share|improve this answer

As you're asking for a description of an over-reaction to positive news, the word that first came to my mind was "obnoxious". Exaggerated reactions of joy tend to be energetic, loud, and exceedingly expressive, as if the person putting on such a display has no regard for restraint - in other words, such a reaction is typically obnoxious.

share|improve this answer

You could use American as a derived adjective, playing on the stereotype of Americans being over-the-top when it comes to celebrating.

It would be a somewhat pointed expression (a gentle (or not-so-gentle) dig at Americans), and would make more sense for contexts outside of the US.


She had a very American way of celebrating her promotion don't you think?

share|improve this answer

Depending on the context and the audience, you could say "They burst out like a game show winner."

share|improve this answer

Frantic can also be used this way, although it usually has a negative connotation rather than a positive on.

Sally reacted to the news with frantic excitement.

share|improve this answer

Usually in reference to children, but can also apply to adults:

Billy got very hyper when he got the truck show tickets.

share|improve this answer

Effusive was the first word that came to mind. I think it's what you're looking for, if you want a single word.

share|improve this answer

"Getting carried away" is a nice expression. It may also suggest losing control of the situation as well as one's emotions, such as spending a future paycheque after only securing an interview.

share|improve this answer

protected by RegDwigнt Jun 16 '14 at 21:44

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.