zeal

noun
\ ˈzēl \

Definition of zeal 

: eagerness and ardent interest in pursuit of something : fervor her zeal to succeed strained her relationships

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Choose the Right Synonym for zeal

passion, fervor, ardor, enthusiasm, zeal mean intense emotion compelling action. passion applies to an emotion that is deeply stirring or ungovernable. was a slave to his passions fervor implies a warm and steady emotion. read the poem aloud with great fervor ardor suggests warm and excited feeling likely to be fitful or short-lived. the ardor of their honeymoon soon faded enthusiasm applies to lively or eager interest in or admiration for a proposal, cause, or activity. never showed much enthusiasm for sports zeal implies energetic and unflagging pursuit of an aim or devotion to a cause. preaches with fanatical zeal

Examples of zeal in a Sentence

… he was uncomfortable with their lavish parties and their collector's zeal for the most expensive, most ostentatious brand names—Rolex and Prada and Farragamo. —Anne Tyler, Digging to America, 2006 In 1248, channelling his piety into crusading zeal, Louis embarked on the Seventh Crusade, against the wishes of the Pope and against the judgement of his counsellors. —Alistair Horne, Seven Ages of Paris, 2002 He showed his anatomical zeal by robbing a wayside gibbet, smuggling the bones back home and reconstructing the skeleton. —Roy Porter, The Greatest Benefit to Mankind, 1997
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Recent Examples on the Web

The 87 carbon-copied, prison transfer records found in the police station are an archive of religious zeal. Rukmini Callimachi, New York Times, "The Case of the Purloined Poultry: How ISIS Prosecuted Petty Crime," 1 July 2018 Local officials may fall in line with national policy more readily than in the past, but an excess of zeal could be more damaging than a shortage, says Yanmei Xie, an analyst with Gavekal Dragonomics, a research firm. The Economist, "The price of powerXi Jinping is using his growing authority to amass even more," 8 Mar. 2018 Every thought and motive is spelled out with declamatory zeal, and the lack of subtext, or even subtlety, is particularly problematic when trying to incorporate the complexities of gender inequality and sexuality. Philip Brandes, latimes.com, "In 'Lysistrata Unbound,' the women go to war against war," 22 June 2018 The clash between the parties was not so obvious at first as the AAP, fired by reformist zeal, focused on local affairs. The Economist, "India’s national government and the city of Delhi are feuding," 21 June 2018 Such was the messianic zeal and indefatigable effort of those FBI and IRS investigators, you’d be forgiven for thinking the U.S. invented the game rather than having largely ignored it for decades. David Hirshey, WSJ, "World Cup Books Reviewed: The World Without America," 7 June 2018 And with ever increasing zeal, news shows and publications pump out pieces on the family drama driven by Markle's estranged half siblings. Samantha Willis, Glamour, "Why Do We See so Much of Ourselves in Meghan Markle?," 18 May 2018 Will the the reality of a rough road ahead this election cycle dull delegates' zeal for the president at all? Alexei Koseff, sacbee, "Five things to watch at the California Republican Party convention this weekend | The Sacramento Bee," 4 May 2018 To capture the frenzy of Kennedy’s campaign and his zeal for change, Lichtenstein gives him the look of a superhero ready for battle. Alice George, Smithsonian, "On the Eve of his Death, Robert Kennedy Was a Whirlwind of Empathy and Internal Strife," 7 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for zeal

Middle English zele, from Late Latin zelus, from Greek zēlos

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Phrases Related to zeal

missionary zeal

Statistics for zeal

Last Updated

9 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for zeal

The first known use of zeal was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for zeal

zeal

noun

English Language Learners Definition of zeal

: a strong feeling of interest and enthusiasm that makes someone very eager or determined to do something

zeal

noun
\ ˈzēl \

Kids Definition of zeal

: eager desire to get something done or see something succeed Feeling better, she attacked her homework with renewed zeal. —Louise Fitzhugh, Harriet the Spy

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Comments on zeal

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