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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