zeal·​ot·​ry | \ ˈze-lə-trē How to pronounce zealotry (audio) \
plural zealotries

Definition of zealotry

: excess of zeal : fanatical devotion

Examples of zealotry in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Hong’s academic struggles put him on the path to religious zealotry and leadership of peasants of southeastern China in a mass movement that threatened the security of the ruling Qing dynasty and led to the deaths of millions. George Brice/alamy/aci, History Magazine, "This religious revolt nearly toppled China's last imperial dynasty," 10 Dec. 2020 Another reason for this might be that rabbis codifying the Jewish Bible weren’t keen on celebrating stories of zealotry — generally frowned upon in Judaism. David Harsanyi, National Review, "The True Meaning of Hanukkah," 9 Dec. 2020 But the new left has sold the idea of purity to its faithful, a religious zealotry reinforced by loyal pundits. John Kass Chicago Tribune, Star Tribune, "If Rahm returns, we'll know the old guard has been restored," 3 Dec. 2020 Many therapists bristled at the critiques, seeing a strain of zealotry or scientific purism that ignored the messy, idiosyncratic demands of treating actual human beings. Benedict Carey, New York Times, "Scott Lilienfeld, Psychologist Who Questioned Psychology, Dies at 59," 16 Oct. 2020 Both men exude supreme confidence in their judgments, the kind of confidence that inspires zealotry in devotees. John Horgan, Scientific American, "Big Tech, Out-of-Control Capitalism and the End of Civilization," 7 Oct. 2020 His son, the second Reverend John Ames, was a pacifist who rejected his father’s zealotry, recoiling from the violence of the First World War and quarrelling with his father over Christian ethics. Casey Cep, The New Yorker, "Marilynne Robinson’s Essential American Stories," 25 Sep. 2020 Broder had not a trace of the disabling egotism, ruthless ambition or partisan zealotry that afflict media stars today. Lance Morrow, WSJ, "Before Reporting Became ‘Journalism’," 23 Sep. 2020 The zealotry of these Victorian Turkish bath enthusiasts often reads like an investment in pleasure — the pleasures of proximity, thrilling contact, physical extremity — trying to cloak itself in the more serious clothing of medical necessity. Leslie Jamison, New York Times, "Is It Strange to Say I Miss the Bodies of Strangers?," 22 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'zealotry.' 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 zealotry

1653, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about zealotry

Time Traveler for zealotry

Time Traveler

The first known use of zealotry was in 1653

See more words from the same year

Statistics for zealotry

Last Updated

29 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Zealotry.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zealotry. Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

More from Merriam-Webster on zealotry

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for zealotry

Comments on zealotry

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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