AskDefine | Define excite

Dictionary Definition



1 arouse or elicit a feeling
2 act as a stimulant; "The book stimulated her imagination"; "This play stimulates" [syn: stimulate] [ant: stifle]
3 raise to a higher energy level; "excite the atoms" [syn: energize, energise]
4 stir feelings in; "stimulate my appetite"; "excite the audience"; "stir emotions" [syn: stimulate, stir]
5 cause to be agitated, excited, or roused; "The speaker charged up the crowd with his inflammatory remarks" [syn: agitate, rouse, turn on, charge, commove, charge up] [ant: calm]
6 stimulate sexually; "This movie usually arouses the male audience" [syn: arouse, sex, turn on, wind up]
7 stir the feelings, emotions, or peace of; "These stories shook the community"; "the civil war shook the country" [syn: stimulate, shake, shake up, stir]
8 produce a magnetic field in; "excite the neurons"

User Contributed Dictionary



From excitare



  1. To stir the emotions of.
    The fireworks which opened the festivities excited anyone present.
  2. To arouse or bring out (eg feelings); to stimulate.
    Favoritism tends to excite jealousy in the ones not being favored.
    The political reforms excited unrest among to population.
    There are drugs designed to excite certain nerves in our body.
  3. , To cause an electron to move to a higher than normal state; to promote an electron to an outer level.
    By applying electric potential to the neon atoms, the electrons become excited, then emit a photon when returning to normal.

Related terms


to stir the emotions of
to arouse or bring out (eg feelings); to stimulate
to cause an electron to move to a higher than normal state

Extensive Definition

See @Home Network for more information about that company.
For the term referring to an elevation in energy level, see Excited state.
Excite is an Internet portal, and as one of the "dotcoms" of the 1990s (along with Yahoo! and Netscape), was once one of the most recognized brands on the Internet.
Excite offers a variety of services, including search, web-based email, instant messaging, stock quotes, and a customizable user homepage. The content is collated from over 100 different sources.


Excite was founded as Architext in 1994 by Graham Spencer, Joe Kraus, Mark Van Haren, Ryan McIntyre, Ben Lutch and Martin Reinfried, who were all computer science students at Stanford University (except for Kraus, who was a political science major). In July 1994 International Data Group paid them $100,000 to develop an online service.
In January 1995, Vinod Khosla (also a former Stanford student), a partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, arranged $250,000 first round backing with $1.5 million in ten months. Geoff Yang of Institutional Venture Partners brought in an additional $1.5 million in financing. Excite was formally launched in December of 1995.
In January 1996, George Bell joined Excite as its Chief Executive Officer. Excite also bought two search engines (Magellan and WebCrawler), and signed exclusive distribution agreements with Netscape, Microsoft, Apple, and other companies. On April 4, 1996, Excite went public with an initial offering of two million shares priced at $8.50 per share, and in June of 1997, Intuit, maker of Quicken and TurboTax, purchased a 19% stake in Excite — a deal worth $40 million — and finalized a seven-year partnership deal.
On October 16, 1997, Excite purchased comparison shopping service company Netbot for around $300 million. At the same time Intuit announced the launch of "Excite Business & Investing". Later that year a deal with Ticketmaster to provide direct online ticketing was finalized.
In December 1998, Yahoo! was in negotiations with Excite to purchase them for $5.5 billion to $6 billion. However, prompted by Kleiner Perkins, @Home Network's Chairman and CEO Thomas Jermoluk met with Excite’s Chairman and CEO George Bell on December 19, and Excite was subsequently acquired by @Home Network on January 19, 1999.


The $6.7 billion merger of Excite and @Home became one of the largest mergers of two Internet companies ever; it combined @Home's high speed internet services and existing portal with Excite’s search engine and portal. The new portal also moved towards personalized web portal content, a concept now commonplace.
The new company became "Excite@Home", though the stock symbol and the company's name in regulatory filing records remained as "At Home Corporation" (ATHM). As a side effect of the deal, Tom Jermoluk stepped down as CEO of Excite@Home but remained Chairman of the Board, and Excite’s George Bell, who was the President of the Excite division of @Home, became the new CEO of Excite@Home.
Following the merger, the Excite division purchased iMall for about $425 million in stock, and also online greeting card company Blue Mountain Arts for 11.2 million shares of stock (approximately $430 million worth), and paid $350 million in cash. Excite also acquired photo-sharing company Webshots for $82.5 million in shares of stock. Excite furthermore paid for sponsorship of Infiniti Indy car driver Eddie Cheever, Jr., through the 2000 and 2001 racing seasons for an undisclosed amount.
However, the merger between Excite and @Home fell disastrously short of expectations. Online advertising revenue plummeted. On September 21, 2000 George Bell announced plans to step down as CEO by March of 2001. Stock value had dropped 90% during his tenure.
On April 23, 2001, Patti S. Hart, the former CEO of Telocity, joined Excite@Home as its third CEO (and @Home's fourth). In the same announcement, George Bell resigned and left the company completely. The company also reported first-quarter net loss of $61.6 million, or 15 cents per share, on revenue of $142.8 million compared with a loss of $4.6 million, or 1 cent, on revenue of $138 million in the same period the prior year.
On June 11, 2001, Excite@Home announced that it had raised $100 million in financing from Promethean Capital Management and Angelo Gordon & Co. Part of the deal was that the loan was repayable immediately if Excite@Home stock was delisted by Nasdaq. The loan, structured as a note convertible into shares of Excite, had an interest rate of zero.
By August 20, 2001, Excite@Home had replaced its auditors Ernst & Young with PricewaterhouseCoopers and received a demand for the immediate repayment of $50 million in debt from Promethean Capital Management and Angelo Gordon & Co. Furthermore, Cox Cable and Comcast announced that they would separate from Excite@Home by the first quarter of 2002.
On September 13, 2001, Excite@Home sold Blue Mountain Arts for $35 million to American Greetings - less than 5% of what it had paid less than two years earlier.
On October 1, 2001, Excite@Home filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California. The company's remaining 1,350 employees were laid off over the following months into the first quarter of 2002. As part of the agreement, @Home's national high-speed fiber network access would be sold back to AT&T for $307 million in cash. At Home Liquidating Trust became the successor company to Excite@Home, charged with the sale of all assets of the former company.
At the end of 2001, the Webshots assets were purchased by the company's founders for $2.4 million in cash from the Bankruptcy Court.

Excite Network

During the collapse of Excite@Home, Irvington, New York–based had quietly started designing a new, yet familiar, Excite website hoping that it could acquire the domain name and brand in the course the bankruptcy proceedings. made a $10 million joint bid with Seattle's InfoSpace to purchase the domain and brand. On November 28, the court accepted the bid and gave iWon less than three weeks to launch a new Excite portal.
"I feel like a guy who lived through a hurricane, got pounded and pounded and managed to survive when everyone else was destroyed," Bill Daugherty, iWon's founder and then co-chief executive time told The New York Times. "Suddenly you walk outside and because of the storm you have beachfront property. That's what Excite is to us."
On December 16, 2001, iWon launched the new Excite portal and transferred millions of Excite users to its new home. Infospace, for its part, owned and operated the web search function on Excite. This proved to be a short-sighted arrangement as searching became big business on the Internet in the ensuing years.
iWon changed its corporate name to Excite Network, and continued to operate Excite, iWon, and a third portal, MyWay. Outside of the United States, Excite Italia took control of portals in Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, and Austria.

Freelane by Excite

In a bid to compete against Internet Service Providers like NetZero and Juno Online, which offered free or low-cost dial-up access in the United States, Excite started offering its own "no-pay" service for private customers by partnering with to create FreeLane by Excite: 1stUp would allow Excite customers to download software in order for them to able to log-on to the Internet. The software would then rotate a series of sponsored banner advertisements on the user's computer while they surfed the Internet. soon went out of business, and Excite switched to another partner named WorldShare, rebranding Freelane as FreeLane version 2.0. As of March 1, 2001 Freelane was discontinued.

Acquisition by Ask Jeeves

Excite continued to operate until the Excite Network was acquired by Ask Jeeves (now in March 2004. Ask Jeeves promised to rejuvenate iWon and Excite, but did not. Ask Jeeves management became distracted, according to the East Bay Business Times, first by a search feature arms race with Google and Yahoo!, and then by its $1.85 billion merger with Barry Diller's InterActive Corporation, announced in March of 2005.
"Hopefully, as we start to invest more and get the staff in place and some of the changes to the portal properties that we want, we hope to see (revenue) grow back in the latter half of the year," said Ask Jeeves CEO Steve Berkowitz during a conference call with analysts on April 27, 2005.
On May 20, 2005, Ask Jeeves made two announcements regarding the rejuvenation of the Excite brand: it had acquired Excite Italia B.V. (the operator of Excite Europe), from Tiscali, S.p.A., and had reached a comprehensive settlement with InfoSpace involving Excite in the United States whereby Ask Jeeves and InfoSpace would share marketing costs and revenue from the Excite web search function. "We look forward to working with InfoSpace to enhance the search experience on Excite, now that our interests are aligned," said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Ask Jeeves.


Excite was owned by IAC Search & Media, which is also the parent of and Evite, and was part of Barry Diller's InterActiveCorporation. On October 17, 2007 GOADV (, a media company specialised in generating traffic on the Internet, announced the completion of its acquisition of the European Excite group of companies.


  • Business 2.0, August 28, 2001
  • USA Today, October 1, 2001
  • Various company press releases
excite in German: Excite
excite in Japanese: Excite
excite in Polish: Excite
excite in Italian: Excite

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

activate, affect the interest, agitate, anger, animate, annoy, arouse, attract, awake, awaken, beat, beat up, begin, blow the coals, blow up, bring about, call forth, call up, cause, churn, churn up, concern, convulse, cultivate, disarrange, discompose, disconcert, disquiet, disturb, effect, electrify, elicit, energize, enkindle, enliven, enrage, excite interest, fan, fan the fire, fan the flame, fascinate, feed the fire, ferment, fire, fire up, flame, flurry, fluster, foment, frenzy, fret, galvanize, generate, get going, heat, heat up, hop up, ignite, impassion, incense, incite, inflame, infuriate, initiate, inspire, inspirit, instigate, interest, intrigue, invigorate, invite, involve in, key up, kindle, lather up, light the fuse, light up, madden, make sensitive, motivate, move, nettle, occasion, overexcite, paddle, perturb, perturbate, pique, prime, prod, provoke, put up to, quicken, rally, refine, rile, ripple, roil, roughen, rouse, ruffle, rumple, sensibilize, sensitize, set astir, set fire to, set in motion, set on, set on fire, shake, shake up, sharpen, sic on, spark, spur on, start, steam up, stimulate, stir, stir the blood, stir the embers, stir the feelings, stir up, summon up, swirl, tantalize, thrill, tickle, titillate, touch off, trouble, turn on, upset, urge, wake, wake up, waken, warm, warm the blood, whet, whip, whip up, whisk, wind up, work into, work up
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