ar·​dor | \ ˈär-dər How to pronounce ardor (audio) \

Definition of ardor

1a : an often restless or transitory warmth of feeling the sudden ardors of youth
b : extreme vigor or energy : intensity the ardor of a true believer
c : zeal
d : loyalty
2 : sexual excitement

Choose the Right Synonym for ardor

passion, fervor, ardor, enthusiasm, zeal mean intense emotion compelling action. passion applies to an emotion that is deeply stirring or ungovernable. gave in to his passions fervor implies a warm and steady emotion. read the poem aloud with great fervor ardor suggests warm and excited feeling likely to be fitful or short-lived. the ardor of their honeymoon soon faded enthusiasm applies to lively or eager interest in or admiration for a proposal, cause, or activity. never showed much enthusiasm for sports zeal implies energetic and unflagging pursuit of an aim or devotion to a cause. preaches with fanatical zeal

Examples of ardor in a Sentence

the sudden ardors of youth candidates for citizenship reciting the oath of allegiance to the United States with all the ardor that they could muster
Recent Examples on the Web Ball, a natural brunette, had flirted with bottle blond and subtle ginger earlier in her career, never finding her signature shade, and despite Guilaroff’s ardor for Tango Red, Ball’s search went on. Katharine K. Zarrella, WSJ, 18 May 2022 In what way is erotic ardor an intellectual affliction? Harper’s Magazine , 27 Apr. 2022 In the hearings for Trump’s second impeachment, to watch Raskin make his icily logical yet passionately democratic opening and closing arguments was to witness an astonishing act not just of personal courage but of civic ardor. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 3 Jan. 2022 Roxanne’s ardor for Christian intensifies, as Cyrano pines for her from afar; Dinklage conveys this with a pained facial expression that suggests indigestion more than lovesickness. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 24 Feb. 2022 Trump’s ardor for Greitens hasn’t taken hold with the GOP writ large. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 18 Feb. 2022 Valentine's Day has come and gone, but that doesn't cool our ardor for great romance novels. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 17 Feb. 2022 The pandemic has turned us all into armchair immunologists, rhapsodizing about T cells and antibodies with the ardor once reserved for — well, anything else. Washington Post, 17 Feb. 2022 The windowless ocean of ardor, all-doing, Omnivorous—substance and matter. Osip Mandelstam, The New Yorker, 7 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ardor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of ardor

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for ardor

Middle English ardour, borrowed from Anglo-French ardur, ardour "burning, fever, passion," borrowed from Latin ardōr-, ardor "burning, flash of light, extreme heat, mental excitement, eagerness, passion," from ardēre "to burn, be fiercely hot, be violently excited, be eager" + -ōr-, -or (earlier *-ōs-, *-ōs), abstract noun suffix — more at ardent

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The first known use of ardor was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ardor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for ardor


ar·​dor | \ ˈär-dər How to pronounce ardor (audio) \

Kids Definition of ardor

1 : warmth of feeling the ardor of young love
2 : great eagerness : zeal … Amy fell to painting with undiminished ardor.— Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

More from Merriam-Webster on ardor

Nglish: Translation of ardor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ardor for Arabic Speakers


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