American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The practices and doctrines of the Puritans.
- n. Scrupulous moral rigor, especially hostility to social pleasures and indulgences: "Puritanism is the source of our greatest hypocrisies and most crippling illusions” ( Molly Haskell).
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Strictness of religious life; puritanic strictness in religious matters.
- n. The principles and practices of the Puritans.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The doctrines, notions, or practice of Puritans.
- n. the beliefs and practices characteristic of Puritans (most of whom were Calvinists who wished to purify the Church of England of its Catholic aspects)
- n. strictness and austerity in conduct and religion
“Mat laughs at what he calls Puritanism, and says the world is growing broader and more generous.”
“In the recoil from what they call Puritanism, or religion without culture, many have given themselves up to culture without religion, or, at best, with a very diluted form of religion.”
“I actually use the tension between Cotton and Increase Mather over those trials to show the internal tensions in Puritanism (cheat sheet for those at home: son Cotton was unreservedly pro-prosecution, dad Increase famously thought it better that some witches go free rather than convict any innocents, but still refused to denounce the trials themselves.)”
“Puritanism, in other words, amounted to much more than a peripheral deviance from the church of the Elizabethan Settlement.”
“Like his predecessors, and it must be said, without a hint of what is popularly known as Puritanism, Milton joins in the ritual dance of the year's renewal, the return of flowers, the reaffirmation of "Mirth and youth, and warm desire.”
“The time was when public favour spoke for the upholding of morality with a conspicuousness which could be called Puritanism, were the anachronism possible.”
“Not the apostles of that new Puritanism, which is but the whine of the hypocrite, and is both writ and spoken badly.”
“Lovel, the grandfather of Dr. Caldwell, was a firm believer in those doctrines of religion, and that consistent Christian practice, which, in England, was called Puritanism, and in France obtained for its followers the name of Huguenots.”
“He called Puritanism, "the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”
“The claim is made that Hefner was trying to counterbalance sexual "Puritanism".”
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