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

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Examples of puritanism in a Sentence

the Victorian era was often characterized by a hypocritical puritanism

Recent Examples on the Web

Which brings us to the party that really pays for the new puritanism: the arts consumer. Lionel Shriver, Harper's magazine, "Cruel and Unusual Punishment," 10 Feb. 2019 The stigma is part of a creeping puritanism that has stifled the arts in Egypt in recent decades. Declan Walsh, New York Times, "Foreign Belly Dancers? Egyptians Shake Their Heads (and Hips)," 8 July 2018 There is a certain amount of puritanism that exists in the United States. Ceylan Yeginsu, New York Times, "Benetton ‘Migrants’ Ads Draw Outrage for Using Photos of Real Migrants," 21 June 2018 As a result, indie rock’s penchant for puritanism and subcultural snobbery was dwindling, and authenticity was beginning to be privileged over obscurity. Emma Madden, Billboard, "How The Yeah Yeahs' 'Maps' Helped Change the Way We View the Relationship Between Pop and Indie," 26 Apr. 2018 Season One established a fallen version of America, explaining that the country collapsed following a rapid decline in fertility rates, which prompted the rise of a totalitarian government founded on puritanism and misogyny. Emma Dibdin, Esquire, "Everything We Know About The Handmaid's Tale Season Two Right Now," 22 Feb. 2018 But the party’s puritanism is at odds with the tastes of young Chinese. The Economist, "Rappers’ knuckles rappedWhy hip-hop scares the Chinese Communist Party," 25 Jan. 2018 Our puritanism, that is, permits and fosters the politically pornographic. Rhonda Garelick, The Cut, "Stormy Daniels Is to Trump As Trump Is to America," 23 Jan. 2018 And puritanism was pushed hard as a response to a double political shock in 1979: the siege of the Great Mosque in Mecca by Sunni extremists; and the Islamic revolution in Iran, which became ruled by radical Shia clerics. The Economist, "Driving changeSaudi Arabia will finally allow women to drive," 27 Sep. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of puritanism

1573, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

24 Jun 2019

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The first known use of puritanism was in 1573

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English Language Learners Definition of puritanism

: the beliefs and practices of Puritans
often disapproving : the beliefs and practices of people who follow very strict moral and religious rules about the proper way to behave and live

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More from Merriam-Webster on puritanism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with puritanism

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for puritanism

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about puritanism

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