pu·​ri·​tan·​i·​cal | \ˌpyu̇r-ə-ˈta-ni-kəl \

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 \ 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

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 Although Qataris share the puritanical Wahhabi strand of Islam with Saudi Arabia, there are no public beheadings or other spectacles that offend the modern conscience. Written By Declan Walsh; Photographs By Tomas Munita, New York Times, "Tiny, Wealthy Qatar Goes Its Own Way, and Pays for It," 22 Jan. 2018 But American society was, and in many ways still is, governed by puritanical notions of modesty and virginity. Emily Atkin, The New Republic, "Why Do Americans Refuse to Give Up Tampons?," 21 May 2018 The 7-by-8-foot looking glass is practically puritanical. Darryl Levings, kansascity, "Sex in the city: Where prostitution once flourished in KC | The Kansas City Star," 20 Apr. 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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The first known use of puritanical was in 1598

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English Language Learners Definition of puritanical

: very strict especially concerning morals and religion

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Spanish Central: Translation of puritanical

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Comments on puritanical

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


playful or foolish behavior

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