evan·​gel·​i·​cal | \ ˌē-ˌvan-ˈje-li-kəl How to pronounce evangelical (audio) , ˌe-vən- \
variants: or less commonly evangelic \ ˌē-​ˌvan-​ˈje-​lik How to pronounce evangelical (audio) , 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 How to pronounce evangelical (audio) , ˌe-​vən-​ \ noun
evangelically \ ˌē-​ˌvan-​ˈje-​li-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce evangelical (audio) , ˌe-​vən-​ \ adverb

Examples of evangelical in a Sentence

Adjective She is an evangelical Christian. He spoke about the project with evangelical zeal.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Steve Penate, 37, is a real estate broker and evangelical pastor who has embraced conservative values and anti-LGBTQ views and opposes the Black Lives Matter movement, according to a campaign ad. Anna Caplan, Dallas News, "Fort Worth will have its first new mayor in 10 years. Here are the candidates vying to replace Betsy Price," 20 Apr. 2021 While Catholic and evangelical churches reopened last year under safety and capacity restrictions, many Protestant churches have been waiting for the right time to try to reopen. Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune, "Easter brings renewed hope for church attendance," 3 Apr. 2021 Luis Palau, an evangelical pastor who was born in Argentina and went on to work with Billy Graham before establishing his own powerhouse international ministry, has died at his home in Portland, Oregon. Gillian Flaccus, Los Angeles Times, "Luis Palau, international evangelical pastor who worked with Billy Graham, dies," 12 Mar. 2021 Justin Speak, 27, an evangelical pastor in California, and his wife, who recently left her job to raise their children, have made $1,700 off GameStop in the past week. New York Times, "‘Dumb Money’ Is on GameStop, and It’s Beating Wall Street at Its Own Game," 27 Jan. 2021 Just so no one missed the point, the convention opened with an invocation by a Latino evangelical pastor and closed with benedictions from a Catholic nun, a Jesuit priest, a rabbi and an imam. William Mcgurn, WSJ, "Amy Coney Barrett and Joe Biden: Two Catholics, One Double Standard," 28 Sep. 2020 Many of the Trump supporters previously attended the evangelical pastor Franklin Graham's March for Prayer, which also took place in Washington, D.C., earlier Saturday. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "Trump supporters clash with protesters outside Barrett nomination," 26 Sep. 2020 Pursuing that angle again would be a mistake that could hurt Democrats in the election, just as polls show Catholic voters leaving Trump for Joe Biden, said Doug Pagitt, an evangelical Christian pastor who supports the Democratic challenger. Joe Garofoli, SFChronicle.com, "Feinstein focus on Amy Coney Barrett’s Catholic faith backfired once. Biden backers are nervous," 26 Sep. 2020 In 2018, Trump demanded that Turkey release Brunson, the evangelical pastor who was arrested by Turkish authorities in 2016. Joshua Yaffa, The New Yorker, "The American Prisoner in Russia Trapped Between Putin and Trump," 4 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Michael Saylor’s transformation into a corporate Bitcoin evangelical started prosaically enough. Eben Shapiro, Time, "Why MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor Bet Company Cash on Bitcoin—and Wants Other Corporations to Join In," 21 Mar. 2021 There are some high-profile stories of resistance, like Billy Graham’s granddaughter Jerushah Duford, an evangelical who calls herself pro-life and is voting for Mr. Biden. Elizabeth Dias, New York Times, "Most Conservative Christians Support Trump. Will They Help Him Win Again?," 30 Oct. 2020 Prevo, an influential evangelical in Alaska for decades, led Anchorage Baptist Temple for 47 years before retiring in 2019. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, "Former Anchorage Baptist Temple leader Jerry Prevo says he’s tested negative for COVID-19 after attending White House event," 5 Oct. 2020 Falwell, a prominent evangelical, had been head of Liberty, one of the country’s largest Christian schools, since his father died in 2007. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, "Jerry Falwell Jr. Resigns from Liberty University amid Sex Scandal Involving Wife and Pool Boy," 25 Aug. 2020 Jeanine Añez, a far-right evangelical who had served as the Vice President of the Bolivian Senate, took over. Andre Pagliarini, The New Republic, "Bolivia’s Covid-19 Election Nightmare Is a Warning," 30 July 2020 So people who have been part of the big-tent religious institutions have been overrepresented in Congress relative to the evangelicals to this day. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Why this shrinking religious group might be among America’s last “swing voters”," 5 Nov. 2018 Consolidating support among evangelicals and other religious conservatives has been crucial for the president, and his attendance at the march comes as his re-election campaign is looking to rally supporters. Jordan Fabian, Bloomberg.com, "Trump to Attend Anti-Abortion March in First for U.S. President," 7 May 2020 Among some Christians, the likelihood of an increase is higher, with 56% of black Protestants and 42% of white evangelicals reporting in the affirmative. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "Majority of people say coronavirus has not increased their faith," 30 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for evangelical

Time Traveler

The first known use of evangelical was in 1531

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Statistics for evangelical

Last Updated

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Evangelical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/evangelical. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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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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