zeal

noun
\ˈzēl \

Definition of zeal 

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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Texas's pursuit of in-person voter fraud reflected the Trump administration's zeal. Hanna Krueger, NOLA.com, "Judge admits to serial underwear theft, faces 15 years in prison: report," 31 Mar. 2018 In response to this debacle, GE has repudiated its previous leadership with a zeal unprecedented in a company of its size and stature. Geoff Colvin, Fortune, "What the Hell Happened at GE?," 24 May 2018 Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, said few people review the fine print in their zeal to set up new televisions. Sapna Maheshwari, New York Times, "How Smart TVs in Millions of U.S. Homes Track More Than What’s On Tonight," 5 July 2018 The stadium was flooded with the deafening roar from participants and observers awash in patriotic zeal. Chicago Tribune, chicagotribune.com, "Algren Award runner-up: "Most Best Happy Korean Bright Star" by Michelle Massie," 2 June 2018 Such zeal for the welfare state is rare these days. The Economist, "The welfare state needs updating," 12 July 2018 Andrew Wheeler, the deputy EPA administrator who is taking over as acting head of the agency, shares Pruitt's zeal for deregulation as does President Donald Trump. Ledyard King, USA TODAY, "7 ways Scott Pruitt's legacy at EPA will live on," 6 July 2018 This righteous zeal came from an unwillingness to cut a break for anyone who had essential testimony, from a feeling that his allegiance had to be to the truth of history and to the millions who had died. Kenneth Turan, latimes.com, "Appreciation: Director Claude Lanzmann's 'Shoah' changed our understanding of the Holocaust — and altered documentary filmmaking," 6 July 2018 Members of the House Committee on Un-American Activities raised this question with unrelenting zeal in a series of hearings over nine blustery and widely publicized days in October 1947. Noah Isenberg, The New Republic, "Making the Movies Un-American," 3 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about zeal

Statistics for zeal

Last Updated

4 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for zeal

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on zeal

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

to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!