I could not get it if it is a verb or an adjective.If it is a verb, to talk a lot in a way that expresses emotion or enthusiasm, shouldn't the word euphoric have written "euphorically" also ?

Perhaps nowhere else in China more than in Beijing is the generation gap more visible. Appalled by the current drive to “modernise”, many older people still wax euphoric about Chairman Mao and the years of sacrifice for the socialist revolution. But most youngsters disdain socialist sacrifice and are more interested -like youngsters everywhere - in money, motorbikes, fashion, video games and rock music .


1 Answer 1


"wax" has three entries in English dictionaries. It can be a verb; with an adjective it means to become. Mostly used in expressions such as

  • to wax lyrical/eloquent/sentimental

"to wax" indicates a change from a normal state into a special one. Longman DCE does not indicate a style level, but I would say it is rare, sometimes used humorously and its use is limited to special changes in mood. You can't use it as a normal variant for "to become".

DCE has the example: Journalists wax lyrical about the band (used humorously).

As to etymology, the link given by pyobum is worth reading.

  • Good, but OP wants to know why euphoric and not euphorically.
    – Jim
    Mar 11, 2015 at 5:00
  • 1
    "to wax" is used as a normal copula verb like to be/to become/to remain. And copula verbs take an adjective as subject complement.
    – rogermue
    Mar 11, 2015 at 5:03

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