Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A person marked or motivated by an extreme, unreasoning enthusiasm, as for a cause.
  • adj. Fanatical.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Fanatical.
  • adj. Showing evidence of possession by a god or demon; frenzied, over-zealous.
  • n. A person who is zealously enthusiastic for some cause, especially in religion.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pertaining to, or indicating, fanaticism; extravagant in opinions; ultra; unreasonable; excessively enthusiastic, especially on religious subjects
  • n. A person affected by excessive enthusiasm, particularly on religious subjects; one who indulges wild and extravagant notions of religion.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Same as fanatical.
  • n. A person affected by zeal or enthusiasm, particularly on religious subjects; one given to wild and extravagant notions of religion.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. marked by excessive enthusiasm for and intense devotion to a cause or idea
  • n. a person motivated by irrational enthusiasm (as for a cause)

Etymologies

Latin fānāticus, inspired by orgiastic rites, pertaining to a temple, from fānum, temple; see dhēs- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested in 1525. From Latin fānāticus ("of a temple, divinely inspired, frenzied"), from fānum ("temple"). Influenced by French fanatique. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Giving a whole new meaning to the term fanatic, this deranged devotee and No 1 fan of a romance-novel writer (James Caan), holds him against his will, forces a rewrite of the protagonist's fate and then sledgehammers his legs so he can't escape from her.

    TODAYonline

  • Sorry, but a fanatic is a fanatic, regardless of what sheepskin she wears.

    Think Progress » The Right, Religion and The Supreme Court: What a Difference a Month Makes

  • The pope says many parts of the world are now facing threats to peace, including terrorism and what he calls fanatic fundamentalist.

    CNN Transcript Jan 1, 2006

  • In my experience, the essential pop fanatic is a polygamist.

    fourfour:

  • My mother's family has been American since 1639, my great + grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War, and no fanatic is telling me to leave my country because I don't listen to Fox News.

    Axelrod slams Romney

  • I am an oatmeal raisin fanatic - so can I sub raisins for the choc chips and throw in some pecans??

    Mom's oatmeal cookies | Homesick Texan

  • I'm always worried some Red Sox fanatic is going to give Frank a little "Fenway massage" with a bat or something.

    Funny Video! Frank Cheats Death at Fenway

  • You resemble nothing so much as a Palin fanatic circa Pearl Harbor Day 2008.

    Matthew Yglesias » The Right’s Growth Record

  • I read "Napalm and Silly Putty" ― a must read for any Carlin fanatic ― this past week, after finding it in a library book sale this winter.

    I Miss George Carlin

  • There's no way to please all the fans with all the interpretations, but this fanatic is quite pleased so far.

    Brown Thing

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