noun \ˈzēl\

Definition of zeal

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

Examples of zeal in a sentence

  1. … 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

Origin and Etymology of zeal

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

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of 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

ZEAL Defined for English Language Learners


noun \ˈzēl\

Definition of zeal for English Language Learners

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

ZEAL Defined for Kids


noun \ˈzēl\

Definition of zeal for Students

  1. :  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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