I wanted to use the word "unwaning" (or, perhaps, un-waning), as in "for his unwaning enthusiasm". However, no decent (online) dictionary I've consulted seems to recognize it. What other word would you use? Does "unwaning" sound weird, or does it sound right to a native speaker?

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    Voting to close, on the grounds that when I Googled define wane and followed the first link, the definition ended with (compare 'wax'). And the fourth link shown by Google was headed Wax and wane | Define Wax and wane at Dictionary.com – FumbleFingers Jul 25 '11 at 16:31
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    Take into account that the OP may not need the word waxing. Waxing would not fit in his context. Unwaning would mean not getting weaker, whereas waxing means getting stronger. There's a difference. Two kinds of opposite, as it were. – Daniel Jul 25 '11 at 16:35
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    @drm65: The OP asked for an antonym. Words either mean something or they don't. – Robusto Jul 25 '11 at 16:39
  • Is there a word for the relationship between waning and unflagging? If there is, that's the word the OP needs in his question. – Daniel Jul 25 '11 at 16:53
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    You could just use "unwaning". People will know what it means. And it's in some pretty good dictionaries. merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unwaning – Vincent McNabb Jul 28 '11 at 9:05

With the word enthusiasm, you may want the word unflagging, or some synonym:

...for his unflagging enthusiasm.

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    As far as un- words go, "unflagging" seems to be popular with enthusiasm. – Kit Z. Fox Jul 25 '11 at 16:33
  • okay, this is probably the word i've been looking for.. thank you! – Jan Benes Jul 25 '11 at 16:38
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    Actually, the word I more often here is is unwavering. – T.E.D. Jul 25 '11 at 17:47

Firstly: unwaning is a word. I understood what you meant when I read it.

But if you are looking for a substitute then I would use unwavering

unwavering adj - not wavering or hesitant; resolute

  • hmm, thanks for the not on unwaning! Could have used it after all :)! – Jan Benes Jul 28 '11 at 15:16

The antonym of waning is waxing. Look at the cycles of the moon.

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    Waxing means "growing" though. The OP asks for something that means not diminishing. – Kit Z. Fox Jul 25 '11 at 16:32
  • @Kit: Then maybe the OP should rephrase the title of the question and remove antonym. – Robusto Jul 25 '11 at 16:38
  • I agree this is the best answer to the question in the title :) Too bad it's not what the questioner meant to ask. – Lisa Aug 24 '11 at 0:02

I am not sure if it's the meaning you are looking for, but "unbridled enthusiasm" is a common English expression for unlimited amounts of excitement.

If you want something more like constant and steady excitement, "unwavering enthusiasm" might also suit.

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