zeal

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

First coined in 1382, from Middle English zele, from Old French zel, from Late Latin zēlus, from Ancient Greek ζῆλος (zêlos, zeal, jealousy), from ζηλόω (zēlóō, to emulate, to be jealous). Cognate to jealous.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

zeal (countable and uncountable, plural zeals)

  1. The fervor or tireless devotion for a person, cause, or ideal and determination in its furtherance; diligent enthusiasm; powerful interest.
    • Dryden
      Zeal, the blind conductor of the will.
    • Bible, Romans x. 2
      I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
  2. (obsolete) A zealot.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Ben Jonson to this entry?)

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