zeal

noun
\ 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

But the new year brings the kind of zeal and optimism that sends a parent to the farmers market, to replace the Bomb Pops with bananas; the pizza, with peas. Jennifer Traig, WSJ, "The Making of the Picky Eater," 11 Jan. 2019 Later, Flair steals the show with a poignant promo in between scenes, showcasing his signature zeal and charisma. Carl Lamarre, Billboard, "Wrestling Legend Ric Flair Brings His Ageless Swagger to Offset & Metro Boomin's 'Ric Flair Drip' Video," 1 Mar. 2018 Like all collectors, Lagerfeld has a zeal to acquire that knows no limits—the only satisfaction is the chase. Erik Maza, Town & Country, "Karl Lagerfeld Turns Interior Designer With a New Miami Masterpiece," 3 Jan. 2019 None of this should affect the zeal Washington fans have displayed toward the Huskies recently. Matt Calkins, The Seattle Times, "Unranked UW men get caught up in Pac-12’s image crisis," 5 Feb. 2019 Few are in a position to launch a coup, but all can attest that competitive zeal leads to as many bad decisions as good. Jim Michaels, WSJ, "When It Comes to Retirement, I’m With Cicero," 11 Jan. 2019 On the other hand, some courts have shown remarkable zeal in prosecuting women. Paola Flores, Fox News, "As women's roles expand in Bolivian politics, so do attacks," 25 Aug. 2018 Trump is shaking up the world economic order with his zeal for tariffs and embrace of trade conflict as a way to secure benefits for the US. Andrew Mayeda, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump said to shape China tariff list to focus more on high tech," 14 June 2018 Matt Levine is similarly disturbed by Marcus’ zeal. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook is pushing out its most creative skeptics," 28 Sep. 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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Learn More about zeal

Statistics for zeal

Last Updated

20 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with zeal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for zeal

Spanish Central: Translation of zeal

Nglish: Translation of zeal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of zeal for Arabic Speakers

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