fa·​nat·​i·​cism | \ fə-ˈna-tə-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce fanaticism (audio) \

Definition of fanaticism

: fanatic outlook or behavior

Examples of fanaticism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Broadly speaking, his thesis is that Spain and the Taliban shared a religious fanaticism that prevented them from progressing. Itxu Díaz, National Review, 19 Aug. 2021 Evidence of the group's fanaticism, according to intelligence gathered two years ago, showed that ISIS-K fighters stranded in mountain passes survived on a small supply of pine nuts, the intelligence official said. Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY, 26 Aug. 2021 Almost worse, though, is how this anti-science fanaticism is perverting the meaning of the concept of freedom. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 28 June 2021 Once again, Rushdie attempts to trace the expansion of the fanaticism that stifled free speech in other parts of the world, and led to the fatwa against his own life, into domains hitherto thought immune to repression and censorship. Michael Washburn, National Review, 13 June 2021 After all, isn’t the ludicrous also a kind of fanaticism, and must not the natural be made unnatural? Cynthia Ozick, The New Yorker, 14 June 2021 But his religious fanaticism together with the invocations of Moloch suggest some kind of divine intervention is at work. John Anderson, WSJ, 8 June 2021 Plenty of varied circumstances ignite Reddit’s fanaticism for dumping. Amelia Tait,, 2 June 2021 The vast majority of my personal acquaintances are non-runners, in the sense that, for them, anything beyond occasionally doing a light jog or taking part in a Thanksgiving 5K is a clear sign of unhinged fanaticism. Martin Fritz Huber, Outside Online, 23 Apr. 2021

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

1652, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of fanaticism was in 1652

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Last Updated

13 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fanaticism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for fanaticism


fa·​nat·​i·​cism | \ fə-ˈnat-ə-ˌsiz-əm How to pronounce fanaticism (audio) \

Medical Definition of fanaticism

: fanatic outlook or behavior especially as exhibited by excessive enthusiasm, unreasoning zeal, or wild and extravagant notions on some subject


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