zeal

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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). Related 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?)
  3. The collective noun for a group of zebras.
    • 2012, Alex Kuskowski, Zeal of Zebras: Animal Groups on an African Safari, ISBN 1614802807, page 8:
      A zeal of zebras confuses predators. Each zebra has a different set of stripes.

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