pu·​ri·​tan·​i·​cal | \ ˌpyu̇r-ə-ˈta-ni-kəl How to pronounce puritanical (audio) \

Definition of puritanical

1 : of, relating to, or characterized by a rigid morality
2 : puritan

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Other Words from puritanical

puritanically \ ˌpyu̇r-​ə-​ˈta-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce puritanically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of puritanical in a Sentence

some of the state laws concerning sexual behavior are vestiges of a more puritanical time and are rarely, if ever, enforced

Recent Examples on the Web

The first response, for an American accustomed to more puritanical forms of worship, is bemusement at the Pop Art look of all the neatly severed and articulated stamped metal votives. Adam Gopnik, Town & Country, "My First Visit to the Greek Islands Turned Out to Be a Journey Home," 20 May 2019 The French media were having a ball mocking the puritanical Americans. Thomas J. Baker, WSJ, "What Barr Knows About Firing an FBI Head," 14 Jan. 2019 In 1995, this ecumenicalism brought him in conflict with the puritanical Hindutva movement and ultimately drove him into self-exile—issues that are thoroughly discussed in the catalog of the exhibition. Michael Fitzgerald, WSJ, "‘The Progressive Revolution: Modern Art for a New India’ Review: A Movement Looks Forward," 20 Sep. 2018 In the Arabian interior, meanwhile, the Al Sauds in the Nejd struck a pact in the 18th century with a puritanical cleric, Muhammad ibn Abdel-Wahhab, and his followers. The Economist, "From pearls to black goldHow oil transformed the Gulf," 21 June 2018 His adversaries today point to that protest as evidence that Lopez Obrador lacks respect for democratic institutions, accusing him of a puritanical zeal that borders on authoritarianism. Kate Linthicum, latimes.com, "Fed up with violence and corruption, Mexican voters embrace a seasoned leftist who wants to double the minimum wage," 24 June 2018 And that Igbos are far more puritanical than Yorubas about female sexuality. Larissa Macfarquhar, The New Yorker, "Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Comes to Terms with Global Fame," 28 May 2018 Salafists are puritanical, religious revivalists who support a strict imposition of Islamic law. Kareem Fahim, Washington Post, "Saudi Arabia’s once-powerful conservatives silenced by reforms and repression," 5 June 2018 But even these maternal stereotypes are reframed when Roys starts to breastfeed—a maternal act that puritanical Americans have long demanded be hidden from the public eye. Jill Filipovic, The New Republic, "Female candidates are turning gender and motherhood into political assets in the midterms.," 29 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'puritanical.' 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 puritanical

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Statistics for puritanical

Last Updated

26 May 2019

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Time Traveler for puritanical

The first known use of puritanical was in 1598

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English Language Learners Definition of puritanical

disapproving : very strict especially concerning morals and religion

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showing courage and determination

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