\ ˈzēl How to pronounce zeal (audio) \

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 outrageous characters in this world—obsessed with privacy, anti-corporate zeal, and arcane algorithms—are also prime targets for scam artists and pranksters. Matthew De Silva, Quartz, "Why crypto hoaxes are so successful," 26 Sep. 2019 By a vote of 19–15, the Senate came closest to convicting Chase on the article regarding his partisan zeal in his charge to the Baltimore grand jury. Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, "The Invention—and Reinvention—of Impeachment," 21 Oct. 2019 In any case, the term caught on, and it has been embraced with particular zeal by the Google AI Quantum team. Quanta Magazine, "Why I Called It ‘Quantum Supremacy’," 2 Oct. 2019 As Lucas, David Kotary nails the combination of charm and annoying zeal in anyone fiercely devoted to a cause. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, "‘If/Then’ intriguingly follows the road(s) less traveled at Theater West End | Review," 16 Aug. 2019 Just a few years ago, American culture was embracing its surface delights with a nihilistic zeal. Amanda Hess, New York Times, "The New Spiritual Consumerism," 19 Aug. 2019 This was the first love I Iost to the war: a passion for architecture and my zeal for studying it. Hiba Barakat, Teen Vogue, "Syrian Journalist Hiba Barakat Explains How Women Are Finding Ways to Survive the War," 18 June 2019 In their zeal to write every negative thing about Trump, [the media] were missing the real story. Dan Zak, Washington Post, "‘This isn’t just a stupid story, it’s a big story’: An oral history of Sharpiegate," 13 Sep. 2019 During the final decade or so of colonial rule, the French state overcame its secular principles and helped the church in a burst of missionary zeal, building schools and dispensaries which spread the faith. The Economist, "Why Pope Francis struggles in Africa," 7 Sep. 2019

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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Learn More about zeal

Time Traveler for zeal

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for zeal

Last Updated

2 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Zeal.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zeal. Accessed 11 December 2019.

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More Definitions for zeal


How to pronounce zeal (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of zeal

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


\ ˈzēl How to pronounce zeal (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on zeal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for zeal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with zeal

Spanish Central: Translation of zeal

Nglish: Translation of zeal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of zeal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on zeal

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heavy with or as if with moisture

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