Synonym Chooser

How does the noun zeal differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of zeal are ardor, enthusiasm, fervor, and passion. While all these words mean "intense emotion compelling action," zeal implies energetic and unflagging pursuit of an aim or devotion to a cause.

preaches with fanatical zeal

When is ardor a more appropriate choice than zeal?

While in some cases nearly identical to zeal, ardor suggests warm and excited feeling likely to be fitful or short-lived.

the ardor of their honeymoon soon faded

Where would enthusiasm be a reasonable alternative to zeal?

The words enthusiasm and zeal can be used in similar contexts, but enthusiasm applies to lively or eager interest in or admiration for a proposal, cause, or activity.

never showed much enthusiasm for sports

When could fervor be used to replace zeal?

While the synonyms fervor and zeal are close in meaning, fervor implies a warm and steady emotion.

read the poem aloud with great fervor

When can passion be used instead of zeal?

The synonyms passion and zeal are sometimes interchangeable, but passion applies to an emotion that is deeply stirring or ungovernable.

was a slave to his passions

Thesaurus Entries Near zeal

Cite this Entry

“Zeal.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/zeal. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

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