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 evangelic (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 Evangelicalism (audio) , ˌe-​vən-​ \ noun
evangelically \ ˌē-​ˌvan-​ˈje-​li-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce evangelically (audio) , 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

That group is the white evangelical Christians, of whom 80% are thought to have voted for Mr Trump. The Economist, "When American evangelicals fall out," 5 July 2019 Trump has broad political support from evangelical Christians. Mark Niquette / Bloomberg, Time, "Publishers Plead With Trump Not to Impose a 'Bible Tax' With New China Tariffs," 20 June 2019 Trump has broad political support from evangelical Christians. Mark Niquette, latimes.com, "Publishers plead with Trump not to impose a China ‘Bible tax’," 18 June 2019 Trump has broad political support from evangelical Christians. Mark Niquette, Fortune, "Trump Tariffs on Chinese Goods Could Lead to a 'Bible Tax'," 18 June 2019 Suburban women support McCaskill by 14 points, while white evangelical Christians prefer Hawley by 34. Dana Blanton, Fox News, "Fox News Poll: McCaskill up in Missouri Senate race by a whisker," 12 Sep. 2018 Only 53 years old, Kavanaugh is an evangelical Christian who previously served as a clerk to Justice Kennedy. Mackenzie Long, Teen Vogue, "Brett Kavanaugh Announced as President Trump's Supreme Court Nominee," 10 July 2018 Maine award winners Books on an iconic American painting and evangelical Christians as a political and social force were among the winners of the 2018 Maine Literary Awards, given to residents of the Pine Tree State. Nina Maclaughlin, BostonGlobe.com, "A debut novel turns on a pregnant minister’s daughter and reality TV star; Maine literary award winners," 27 June 2018 As the logistical realities of the 'zero tolerance' border policy separating immigrant children from their parents have become more visible to the American public, evangelical Christians across the country have begun to debate the Bible. Harry Bruinius, The Christian Science Monitor, "Family separation: Evangelicals add their voices to opposition," 18 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

These issues are legally important, and there are reasons for evangelicals to be concerned. David French, Time, "Evangelicals Are Supporting Trump Out of Fear, Not Faith," 27 June 2019 The first is a split over Donald Trump far more rancorous and damaging than most non-evangelicals appreciate. The Economist, "The Southern Baptists are beset by two related fiascos," 15 June 2019 Liberal self-identification is also heavily concentrated among infrequently attending young evangelicals. Jeremy Castle, Vox, "Younger evangelicals look an awful lot like older evangelicals post-2016," 12 Nov. 2018 In 2011, that figure among white evangelicals was just 30 percent. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Trump-allied pastor: Reagan was a womanizer, too," 23 July 2018 Notably, Trump’s favorability among white evangelicals never reached 50 percent during the 2016 primary season. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Nobody Likes Trump Except White Evangelicals," 19 Apr. 2018 While every other religious demographic — from white evangelicals to the religiously unaffiliated — have reported virtually unchanged attitudes toward Trump since his inauguration, mainline Protestants appear to have turned away from the president. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "“Welcome home, Matt”: Bishop Robinson welcomes Matthew Shepard — and gay Christians — back to the church," 26 Oct. 2018 The 65-year-old priest is now the repository of hope for progressive Christians who want to reclaim their faith from conservative evangelicals. Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post, "The royal wedding made Episcopal Bishop Michael Curry a superstar. Can the religious left translate that into political change?," 25 May 2018 But the Supreme Court was what got evangelicals on board. Julie Zauzmer, Washington Post, "As Trump picks Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, evangelicals rejoice: ‘I will vote for him again’," 9 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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Statistics for evangelical

Last Updated

11 Jul 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

Comments on evangelical

What made you want to look up evangelical? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to form ideas or theories about something

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