Definition of zealous
: marked by fervent partisanship for a person, a cause, or an ideal : filled with or characterized by zeal zealous missionaries
Examples of zealous in a sentence
I was zealous in my demands on my sisters for promptness in rehearsals. I was passionate, intolerant of small talk, hungry for knowledge, grabby, bossy, precocious. —Lynn Margulis, Curious Minds, (2004) 2005
Sir Thomas was zealous in the pursuit of recusants, not poachers, and was otherwise an amiable man. —S. Schoenbaum, Shakespeare's Lives, 1991
Zealous in his ministerial labours, blameless in his life and habits, he yet did not appear to enjoy that mental serenity, that inward content, which should be the reward of every sincere Christian and practical philanthropist. —Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, 1847
He had no cause for self-reproach on the score of neglect, or want of thought, for he had been devoted to her service; and yet a hundred little occasions rose up before him, on which he fancied he might have been more zealous, and more earnest, and wished he had been. —Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist, 1838
The detective was zealous in her pursuit of the kidnappers.
zealous vs. jealous
Zealous and jealous share not just a rhyme, but an etymology. Both words ultimately come from the Latin zelus “jealousy,” and in the past their meanings were somewhat closer to each other than they are today. In the 16th and 17th centuries, zealous occasionally was used in biblical writing to refer to a quality of apprehensiveness or jealousy of another. By the 18th century, however, it had completely diverged in meaning from jealous, signifying “warmly engaged or ardent on behalf of someone or something.” Today, zealous often carries a connotation of excessive feeling: it typically means “fiercely partisan” or “uncompromisingly enthusiastic.”
First Known Use of zealous
ZEALOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of zealous for English Language Learners
: feeling or showing strong and energetic support for a person, cause, etc. : filled with zeal
ZEALOUS Defined for Kids
Definition of zealous for Students
1 : filled with or showing a strong and energetic desire to get something done or see something succeed The police were zealous in their pursuit of the criminals.
2 : marked by passionate support for a person, cause, or ideal a zealous fan
Seen and Heard
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