zeal

play
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

zeal

play
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

zeal

play
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



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up zeal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a mode of satirical wit

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • manet-jeanne-spring
  • Which is a synonym of chaffer?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ