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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Experts say that part of the reason these Latin American nations are recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocating their embassies there has to do, in part, with the rise of evangelical Christianity in the region. Andrew O'reilly, Fox News, "More countries following Trump in moving Israel embassy to Jerusalem," 9 July 2018 Hof’s brothels exist to serve male pleasure, just as many evangelical churches teach that the household must be run at the pleasure of the man. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Evangelicals boldly back ex-pimp for state senator in Nevada.," 22 June 2018 But the gathering of the nation's largest evangelical group took a political turn on Wednesday morning, when Vice President Mike Pence addressed the nearly 10,000 delegates, known as messengers. Daniel Burke, CNN, "Pence accused of 'hijacking' evangelical meeting," 13 June 2018 Here to discuss, Reverend Johnnie Moore, spokesperson for the president's informal evangelical advisory group. Fox News, "Trump signs religious liberty executive order," 5 May 2018 Mr Bernard resigned from Mr Trump’s evangelical advisory group when the president blamed both sides for the violence at a far-right march in Charlottesville last year. The Economist, "The non-Trump evangelicals," 19 Apr. 2018 The experience of the Chibok students who made it to the U.S., never fully reported, featured a former White House adviser, evangelical lobby groups and a cowboy hat-wearing congresswoman. Joe Parkinson, WSJ, "The American Ordeal of the Boko Haram Schoolgirls," 13 Apr. 2018 More evangelical groups have grown to prominence in Israel over the past decade and a half, supported by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing administration. Shria Rubin, USA TODAY, "These evangelicals in Israel are on a mission to win the hearts and minds of Syrians," 10 Apr. 2018 Other evangelical pastors did not return phone calls. Peter Rowe, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Bordering on faith: San Diego spiritual leaders wrestle with the morality of immigration," 1 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Griffith might also have discussed reported declines in overall numbers of evangelicals, in evangelical loyalty to the right, and in church attendance among evangelical as well as mainline Protestants. Linda Gordon, The New Republic, "How birth-control leaders found allies in American religious groups," 5 Apr. 2018 The most important flagships of the evangelicals, including their homophobic and pro-life discourse, is not that extreme to Costa Rican voters and voters in other countries. Jim Wyss, miamiherald, "Are evangelical politics reshaping Central America into the new Bible Belt? | Miami Herald," 30 Mar. 2018 In Brazil, which has the world’s largest Catholic population, evangelicals preaching prosperity gospels are giving stiff competition to Catholicism, which is projected to become a minority faith in 2030. Jason Horowitz, BostonGlobe.com, "As Ireland joins Europe’s sprint from Catholic fold, Francis looks south," 27 May 2018 In 1979, Jerry Falwell surprised everyone by launching a powerful political movement of fundamentalists and other conservative evangelicals. Time Staff, Time, "The 25 Moments From American History That Matter Right Now," 28 June 2018 More than 3,200 women - most conservative evangelicals - signed a petition, a rare public display against a man in power, calling for Patterson's ouster. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "Prominent Southern Baptist leader removed after remarks about abused women," 23 May 2018 But to many of the Christian evangelicals who form part of Trump’s political base, apocalyptic tensions in the Holy Land aren’t a problem to avoid. Liya Rechtman, BostonGlobe.com, "When the apocalypse is a feature, not a bug," 12 May 2018 Hispanic Catholics tilt staunchly Democratic -- and traditionally much more so than Hispanic Protestants, many of which are evangelicals. Ronald Brownstein, CNN, "Is the GOP at risk of losing Catholics?," 1 May 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.

See More

First Known Use of evangelical


1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1532, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about evangelical

Share evangelical

Statistics for evangelical

Last Updated

31 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for evangelical

The first known use of evangelical was in 1531

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


playful or foolish behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!