fanatic

play
adjective fa·nat·ic \fə-ˈna-tik\

Definition of fanatic

  1. :  marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion <they're fanatic about politics>

fanatic

noun

fanatically

play \fə-ˈna-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

fanaticalness

play \-kəl-nəs\ noun

Examples of fanatic in a sentence

  1. <because of her fanatical views, her friends know better than to discuss religion with her>

Did You Know?

The Latin adjective fanaticus, a derivative of the noun fanum, meaning “temple,” originally meant “of or relating to a temple.” It was later used to refer to pious individuals who were thought to have been inspired by a god or goddess. In time, the sense “frantic, frenzied, mad” arose because it was thought that persons behaving in such a manner were possessed by a deity. This was the first meaning of the English word fanatic. This sense is now obsolete, but it led to the meaning “excessively enthusiastic, especially about religious matters.” The word later became less specific, meaning simply “excessively enthusiastic or unreasonable.” The noun fan, meaning “enthusiast,” is probably a shortening of fanatic.

Variants of fanatic

or

fanatical

play \-ti-kəl\

Origin and Etymology of fanatic

Latin fanaticus inspired by a deity, frenzied, from fanum temple — more at feast


First Known Use: 1550


FANATIC Defined for Kids

1

fanatic

play
adjective fa·nat·ic \fə-ˈna-tik\

Definition of fanatic for Students

  1. :  very or overly enthusiastic or devoted <a fanatic supporter>

History for fanatic

In Latin the adjective fanaticus, a derivative of fanum, “temple,” meant literally “of a temple,” though the more common sense was “inspired by a god” or “frenzied.” The word was borrowed into English as fanatic in the 1500s with this sense. In the following century the word was applied to members of certain Protestant groups who argued for their beliefs—in the view of most people—with excessive enthusiasm, acting as if they were divinely inspired. Eventually, fanatic was applied to anyone who showed extreme devotion to a cause.


2

fanatic

play
noun fa·nat·ic

Definition of fanatic for Students

  1. :  a very enthusiastic supporter or admirer



Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a harsh rebuke

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • hot-dog--hot-dog--hot-dog--hot-dog-cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ