late 14c., "inordinate self-esteem, arrogance," especially "self-satisfaction over one's accomplishments or qualities, vainglory" (early 15c.), from Old French elacion "elation, conceit, arrogance, vanity," from Latin elationem (nominative elatio) "a carrying out, a lifting up," noun of action from elatus "elevated," form used as past participle of efferre "carry out, bring out, bring forth, take away," from assimilated form of ex "out" (see ex-) + lātus "carried, borne" (see oblate (n.)), past participle of the irregular verb ferre "carry" (from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry," also "to bear children"). Metaphoric sense of "a lifting of spirits" was in Latin and has always been the principal meaning in English. More positive sense of "buoyancy, joyfulness" is from 1750 in English.
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