ar·​dent ˈär-dᵊnt How to pronounce ardent (audio)
: characterized by warmth of feeling typically expressed in eager zealous support or activity
ardent proponents of the bill
an ardent admirer
ardent fans
: fiery, hot
an ardent sun
: shining, glowing
ardent eyes
ardently adverb
Choose the Right Synonym for ardent

impassioned, passionate, ardent, fervent, fervid, perfervid mean showing intense feeling.

impassioned implies warmth and intensity without violence and suggests fluent verbal expression.

an impassioned plea for justice

passionate implies great vehemence and often violence and wasteful diffusion of emotion.

a passionate denunciation

ardent implies an intense degree of zeal, devotion, or enthusiasm.

an ardent supporter of human rights

fervent stresses sincerity and steadiness of emotional warmth or zeal.

fervent good wishes

fervid suggests warmly and spontaneously and often feverishly expressed emotion.

fervid love letters

perfervid implies the expression of exaggerated or overwrought feelings.

perfervid expressions of patriotism

Examples of ardent in a Sentence

These ardent young nationalists, mostly still in their 20s and impatient for freedom, had acquired arms from sympathetic nationalist officers in the Indian army … Gita Mehta, Vogue, April 1997
In fact, Gorbachev told me, a schoolboy essay he'd written on the virtues of Stalin was considered so ardent and exemplary that "for years thereafter other children were made to read it." David Remnick, New Yorker, 18 Nov. 1996
During the fourth century, pagan piety in the upper classes became more elevated, more ardent, and more mystical. Norman F. Cantor, The Civilization of the Middle Ages, 1993
made ardent declarations of love to the woman he someday hoped to marry an ardent science-fiction fan who has read virtually all of his favorite author's many works
Recent Examples on the Web Military cohesion Since the rebels launched their offensive, their territorial gains have surprised even their most ardent supporters. Rebecca Tan, Washington Post, 14 Feb. 2024 As Nikki Haley tours California, even some of her most ardent supporters don’t see a path. Ryan Fonseca, Los Angeles Times, 9 Feb. 2024 The lawsuit comes as the port is trying to turn the corner from the turmoil surrounding Naranjo’s censure, an unprecedented action that stirred up public animus between the agency and the commissioner’s most ardent supporters. Jennifer Van Grove, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Feb. 2024 Still, Labour deserves credit for courting moderate voters rather than trying to appease its most ardent members. John Fund, National Review, 5 Feb. 2024 While a new poll from the Daily Mail places Ramaswamy as the leading VP contender, many of Trump’s most ardent supporters online have major concerns about him, primarily based on racist and conspiratorial beliefs. David Gilbert, WIRED, 25 Jan. 2024 Even though many ardent fans value the online community built through social media, some are also uncomfortable with the flattening of poetic songs into 60-second memes. Reece Rogers, WIRED, 1 Feb. 2024 Cue Purdy, who entered the postseason amid a wave of criticism — some of it even fair — and has, after Sunday’s performance, silenced even his most ardent doubters. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, 29 Jan. 2024 That has even some of the most ardent supporters of Trump's rivals managing their expectations in the early states. Tal Axelrod, ABC News, 14 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ardent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English ardaunt, ardent "burning, fiery, passionate," borrowed from Middle French ardent, ardant, going back to Old French, borrowed from Latin ardent-, ardens "burning, fiercely hot, shining, eager, passionate," from present participle of ardēre "to burn, emit light or flame, be fiercely hot, be violently excited, be eager," derivative of āridus, ārdus "dry, waterless" — more at arid

Note: The assumption here is that the initial long vowel of āridus is shortened in ardēre, though this is uncertain. (Ernout and Meillet in Dictionnaire étymologique de langue latine marked it as long, though M. Leumann in Lateinische Laut- und Formenlehre considered it to have been shortened.) Although derivation of ardēre from āridus seems likely on a morphological basis, the semantic relation is anomalous, as the verb is not a stative derivative of the adjective—the verb ārēre "to be dry, parched" already serves that function. The noun ardor is similarly anomalous. Most other stative verbs in -ēre paired with adjectives in -idus have a corresponding abstract noun ending in -ōr-, -or (originally *-ōs-, *-ōs), but the pair āridus/ārēre lacks a corresponding noun *āror. The derivative ardor does not provide it, as it means "burning, fierce heat," not "dryness" (though heat produces dryness, the implicit semantic connection).

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of ardent was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near ardent

Cite this Entry

“Ardent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


ar·​dent ˈärd-ᵊnt How to pronounce ardent (audio)
: showing or having warmth of feeling : passionate
an ardent admirer
: zealous, devoted
an ardent supporter
ardently adverb

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