pu·​ri·​tan·​ism | \ ˈpyu̇r-ə-tᵊn-ˌi-zəm How to pronounce puritanism (audio) \

Definition of puritanism

1 capitalized : the beliefs and practices characteristic of the Puritans
2 : strictness and austerity especially in matters of religion or conduct

Examples of puritanism in a Sentence

the Victorian era was often characterized by a hypocritical puritanism
Recent Examples on the Web In the English-speaking world, this was a product of puritanism. WSJ, 19 May 2022 The news was at odds with Keillor’s public persona as the gentle, avuncular satirist of Midwestern puritanism. Washington Post, 20 Oct. 2021 Even when the proceedings become a touch tawdry, there’s a blessed absence of American puritanism in their presentation. Sam Sacks, WSJ, 25 June 2021 For modern progressivism is a form of secular puritanism: dour, joyless, haunted to sleeplessness by the prospect that somebody, somewhere might be thinking unsanctioned thoughts or acting in unapproved ways. James E. Person Jr., National Review, 17 Sep. 2020 In my view, forms of puritanism and freedom have coexisted simultaneously in every era. Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov, Harper's magazine, 28 Oct. 2019 Oil wealth has hidden a woefully unproductive economy, and fuelled Islamic ultra-puritanism around the world. The Economist, 23 June 2018 That relationship allowed investigators to paint Muck as both subversive and immoral—a one-two punch of xenophobia and puritanism. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 2 July 2019 Which brings us to the party that really pays for the new puritanism: the arts consumer. Lionel Shriver, Harper's magazine, 10 Feb. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'puritanism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of puritanism

1573, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of puritanism was in 1573

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Cite this Entry

“Puritanism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puritanism. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on puritanism

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about puritanism


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