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 Those campaigning for the initiative are fueled by misinformation, bigotry and pure hatred — all of which intensify when a religious leader is killed during the bombing of an evangelical church. Oline H. Cogdill, sun-sentinel.com, 13 July 2021 Her childhood was steeped in conservative rural politics and the power of the evangelical church. New York Times, 4 July 2021 Jamie had become close to Lou Taylor, a business manager who shares the Spears family’s Christian faith and whose husband is a pastor at an evangelical church. Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, 3 July 2021 There was also a notable — albeit less dramatic — movement among white, non-evangelical Protestants. The Salt Lake Tribune, 2 July 2021 For instance, the enduring impact of religious observance on values appears to be strongest among former evangelical Protestants. Sam Hardy, The Conversation, 16 June 2021 White evangelical Protestants make up one-third of the Republican Party, compared with only 6% of Democrats, and their vaccination rate is well below the national average. William A. Galston, WSJ, 8 June 2021 Stewart, a Black man from Cleveland, signed up for his own conversation, with a white evangelical woman who lives in Texas. David Bauder, Star Tribune, 18 June 2021 The election of the new Southern Baptist Convention president underlined the rifts in the conservative evangelical network of churches. Katherine Burgess, USA TODAY, 18 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The couple had become close to Arolde de Oliveira, the owner of Flordelis’s record label—a prominent evangelical who was also a nine-term federal deputy. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, 7 June 2021 Michael Saylor’s transformation into a corporate Bitcoin evangelical started prosaically enough. Eben Shapiro, Time, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 7 May 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

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The first known use of evangelical was in 1531

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Statistics for evangelical

Last Updated

19 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Evangelical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/evangelical. Accessed 23 Jul. 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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