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

Bryan Meyers, a senior pastor at Grace Community Church, a nondenominational evangelical church in Chico, sees the wildfires as evidence of the fallen nature of creation. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "How faith leaders respond to tragedies like the California wildfires," 21 Nov. 2018 Milene de Souza, a volunteer at an evangelical church, told the Associated Press by phone that the situation is desperate. Fox News, "Brazilians attack Venezuelan immigrants in border town," 18 Aug. 2018 Notably absent from the donor roll, though, were Mount Pleasant’s evangelical churches. New York Times, "An ICE Raid Leaves an Iowa Town Divided Along Faith Lines," 3 July 2018 In California, Daniel Balcombe is the pastor of the evangelical Living Way Church near San Diego, a church that has had a notable Persian immigrant influx in recent years. Elizabeth Dias And Sydney Ember, BostonGlobe.com, "Abortion and travel ban rulings are victories for GOP tactics on Gorsuch," 27 June 2018 The Harvest’ unfolds in the basement of an evangelical church in Idaho, where a crew of fresh-faced missionaries prepare to leave for the Middle East. Kt Hawbaker, chicagotribune.com, "Griffin Theatre Company sets casting for "The Harvest," the closing show of its 30th season," 18 June 2018 Others speculated he was pushed out because of friction with conservative evangelical Christians. Sabrina Eaton, cleveland.com, "Ohio Congress members question forced resignation of House of Representatives chaplain," 27 Apr. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 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

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

7 Mar 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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a shady place in a garden or forest

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