puritanism

noun

pu·​ri·​tan·​ism ˈpyu̇r-ə-tᵊn-ˌi-zəm How to pronounce puritanism (audio)
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 He in turn was denounced for what many thought was an old-fashioned puritanism and what many also thought was jealousy — the production was directed by his successor at Yale, Lloyd Richards. Bruce Weber, New York Times, 29 Oct. 2023 And for Black women in particular, the consequences of stepping out of society’s faux puritanism are always much harsher. Tayo Bero, refinery29.com, 20 Dec. 2022 And for Black women, in particular, the consequences of stepping out of society’s faux puritanism are always much harsher. Tayo Bero, refinery29.com, 21 Dec. 2022 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 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'puritanism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1573, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of puritanism was in 1573

Dictionary Entries Near puritanism

Cite this Entry

“Puritanism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puritanism. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

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