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

Adjective She is an evangelical Christian. He spoke about the project with evangelical zeal.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective David Kinnaman, the president of Barna Group, an evangelical research outfit, reckons that as many as one in five churches—and one in three mainline ones—could close for good within the next 18 months. The Economist, "Sunday slump The virus is accelerating dechurching in America," 23 May 2020 In the documentary, her claims are backed up by the Rev. Rob Schenck, an evangelical minister who worked closely with McCorvey. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for May 21: Pandemic, testing, economy, Amphan, Roe v. Wade," 21 May 2020 The push to reopen is being led by evangelical congregations, many of whom have been the plaintiffs in lawsuits against Newsom. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "Barr Justice Department warns Gavin Newsom that ban places 'unfair burden' on California churches," 20 May 2020 The program was funded by the Green family, the evangelical billionaires who own the Hobby Lobby craft-store chain. Ariel Sabar, The Atlantic, "A Mystery at Oxford," 13 May 2020 There is one living writer whose evangelical belief in the lasting lessons of the FWP beggars even my own. David Kipen, Los Angeles Times, "85 years ago, FDR saved American writers. Could it ever happen again?," 6 May 2020 Take, for instance, the social distancing norms purportedly flouted by the Islamic evangelical group, Tablighi Jamaat, which reportedly led to a rise in the number of coronavirus cases in India. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, "A veteran says Bollywood won’t be influenced by “temporary” communal issues in India," 23 Apr. 2020 Liberty University is one of the largest evangelical schools in the nation, normally with about 15,000 students taking classes on campus. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Liberty University students show signs of coronavirus after returning to campus, report says," 30 Mar. 2020 Godfrey is executive director of ALCAP (Alabama Citizens’ Action Program), which lobbies for evangelical Christian interests in the Legislature, such as opposing gambling and medical marijuana. al, "Alabama lawmakers look to lift yoga ban in public schools," 5 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 They're caught between immigration hardliners who want to shut the door and some Christian evangelicals who believe helping refugees is a moral obligation. Arkansas Online, "GOP governors grapple with whether to accept refugees or not," 22 Dec. 2019 But as with other faith traditions, the relatively greater number of evangelicals watching church online does not necessarily represent an increase in viewership. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "Online church services fail to draw worshippers," 8 Apr. 2020 On a corner beside two women palming corn tortillas, a young man preached salvation from his Bible, one of the growing ranks of evangelicals in the western highlands. Julien Capmeil, Condé Nast Traveler, "In Guatemala, Eco-Retreats and Arts Collectives Blend Seamlessly with Tradition," 30 Mar. 2020 Lindsay’s focus is on documenting the emergence of the elite class of evangelicals. Michael Luo, The New Yorker, "What It Would Take for Evangelicals to Turn on President Trump," 23 Dec. 2019 Seventy nine percent of white evangelicals say President Trump is doing a good job as president. CBS News, "Transcript: Mark Galli on "Face the Nation," December 22, 2019," 22 Dec. 2019 Hundreds of evangelicals appealed to Lee’s faith in a letter this month. Washington Post, "Tennessee governor says state will keep resettling refugees," 18 Dec. 2019

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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Last Updated

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Evangelical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/evangelical. Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for evangelical


How to pronounce evangelical (audio)

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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