evan·​gel·​i·​cal | \ ˌē-ˌvan-ˈje-li-kəl , ˌe-vən-\
variants: or less commonly evangelic \ ˌē-​ˌvan-​ˈje-​lik , ˌe-​vən-​ \

Definition of evangelical

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or being in agreement with the Christian gospel especially as it is presented in the four Gospels
3 : emphasizing salvation by faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ through personal conversion, the authority of Scripture, and the importance of preaching as contrasted with ritual
4a capitalized : of or relating to the Evangelical Church in Germany
b often capitalized : of, adhering to, or marked by fundamentalism : fundamentalist
c often capitalized : low church
5 : marked by militant or crusading zeal : evangelistic the evangelical ardor of the movement's leaders— Amos Vogel


noun, often capitalized

Definition of evangelical (Entry 2 of 2)

: one holding evangelical principles or belonging to an evangelical party or church

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Other Words from evangelical


Evangelicalism \ ˌē-​ˌvan-​ˈje-​li-​kə-​ˌli-​zəm , ˌe-​vən-​ \ noun
evangelically \ ˌē-​ˌvan-​ˈje-​li-​k(ə-​)lē , ˌe-​vən-​ \ adverb

Examples of evangelical in a Sentence


She is an evangelical Christian. He spoke about the project with evangelical zeal.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

What about Orthodox Jews, Muslims, Mormons and evangelical Christians? Eugene F. Rivers Iii, WSJ, "Another Religious Test in the Senate," 3 Jan. 2019 Olivet, a Christian university based in Anza, Calif., was founded by an evangelical pastor who leads a denomination called the World Olivet Assembly. Rebecca Davis O’brien, WSJ, "Prosecutors Expand Newsweek Case to Include California Bible College," 15 Nov. 2018 The State Department said Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan and Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal met in a bid to ease the crisis in relations caused by Turkey's continued detention of evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson. Susannah George, Fox News, "US, Turkey meet without apparent resolution of pastor's case," 9 Aug. 2018 One of President Trump's evangelical advisers is getting significant pushback for introducing the immigration status of Christ into the conversation of immigrant children separated from their parents by the Trump administration. Eugene Scott, Washington Post, "Trump allies keep using the Bible in the immigration debate," 12 July 2018 Many of his top evangelical advisers attended the embassy dedication as well as private meetings with Mr. Netanyahu last week. New York Times, "Israel and Evangelicals: New U.S. Embassy Signals a Growing Alliance," 19 May 2018 Many of his top evangelical advisers attended the embassy dedication as well as private meetings with Netanyahu last week. David D. Kirkpatrick, BostonGlobe.com, "Israeli appeal to evangelicals stirs old fears," 19 May 2018 The message echoed a talk on Capitol Hill Thursday, where the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, one of Trump's evangelical advisers, stood with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urging Congress to protect undocumented young adults. The Washington Post, cleveland.com, "President Trump offers word of support to activists at March for Life," 19 Jan. 2018 The message echoed a talk on Capitol Hill Thursday, where the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, one of Trump's evangelical advisers, stood with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urging Congress to protect undocumented young adults. Author: Julie Zauzmer, Michelle Boorstein, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump to anti-abortion marchers: ‘We are with you all the way’," 19 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Among them are the very ones who have championed Trump’s policies in the past, namely conservative evangelicals. Emily Mcfarlan Miller And Yonat Shimron, USA TODAY, "Why is Jeff Sessions quoting Romans 13 and why is the bible verse so often invoked?," 16 June 2018 Having weathered First Amendment battles with evangelicals at his previous post as director the Pikes Peak Library District in Colorado Springs, Colo., Mr. Margolis pushed back against blanket censorship and came up with a compromise. J.m. Lawrence, BostonGlobe.com, "Bernard A. Margolis, former Boston Public Library president, dies at 69," 26 Apr. 2018 Liberals worry that evangelicals prefer strong leaders who will challenge democratic norms. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Brazil Is Moving Its Embassy to Jerusalem," 5 Nov. 2018 But there are other evangelicals who embrace the climate change modeling that is treated as gospel by most major scientific organizations. NBC News, "Climate change schism: Evangelical Christians divided on human role in global warming," 22 Apr. 2018 Overall, white evangelicals remain the only religious demographic to support Trump’s presidency. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "The GOP can’t rely on white evangelicals forever," 7 Nov. 2018 Some of President Trump’s strongest support comes from evangelicals who believe their rights are under assault in modern American culture. Cathy Young, BostonGlobe.com, "Is liberal democracy failing? No, it’s a victim of its own success," 8 July 2018 Some non-white evangelicals will welcome Graham’s religious message, but far fewer will pay attention to his paeans to the immigrant-bashing champion of white self-esteem in that very White House. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Franklin Graham Invades ‘Godless’ California," 28 May 2018 White’s language reflects a broader and deeply troubling trend on the part of white Christian evangelicals, a full 36 percent of whom support the family separation policy as of late June. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Top Trump evangelical ally: Jesus never broke immigration law," 11 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of evangelical


1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1532, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for evangelical

The first known use of evangelical was in 1531

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More Definitions for evangelical



English Language Learners Definition of evangelical

: of or relating to a Christian sect or group that stresses the authority of the Bible, the importance of believing that Jesus Christ saved you personally from sin or hell, and the preaching of these beliefs to other people
: having or showing very strong and enthusiastic feelings

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More from Merriam-Webster on evangelical

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with evangelical

Spanish Central: Translation of evangelical

Nglish: Translation of evangelical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of evangelical for Arabic Speakers

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