Definitions

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

  • n. Enthusiastic devotion to a cause, ideal, or goal and tireless diligence in its furtherance. See Synonyms at passion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The fervor or tireless devotion for a person, cause, or ideal and determination in its furtherance; diligent enthusiasm; powerful interest.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Passionate ardor in the pursuit of anything; eagerness in favor of a person or cause; ardent and active interest; engagedness; enthusiasm; fervor.
  • n. A zealot.
  • intransitive v. To be zealous.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Passionate ardor in the pursuit of anything; intense interest or endeavor; eagerness to accomplish or obtain some object.
  • n. Synonyms Earnestness, Enthusiasm, etc. (see eagerness), warmth, fervor, heartiness, energy.
  • To entertain zeal; be zealous.

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

  • n. prompt willingness
  • n. a feeling of strong eagerness (usually in favor of a person or cause)
  • n. excessive fervor to do something or accomplish some end

Etymologies

Middle English zele, from Old French zel, from Late Latin zēlus, from Greek zēlos.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First coined in 1382, from Middle English zele, from Old French zel, from Late Latin zēlus, from Ancient Greek ζήλος (zēlos, "zeal, jealousy"), from ζηλόω (zēloō, "to emulate, to be jealous"). Cognate to jealous. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • And this also is that which they call zeal for the glory of God, and the honour of Christ!

    The Sermons of John Owen

  • That which we call zeal for God is almost quite lost among us.

    Several Practical Cases of Conscience Resolved

  • Yet we are faced today with the sad reality that our untempered zeal is a sign of immaturity.

    Todd Bentley event cancelled; plus Debating the Lakeland Outpouring’s legacy

  • One thing that I have done and may do again, God willing, with more zeal is have a booth at local events to give out free information on the importance of being a round-the-clock wife and mother and related subjects.

    A Look at the Past

  • In every Moore crowd an undercurrent of messianic zeal is detectable, and here a few zealots buttonholed passersby, animated by communist infiltrations and dark tidings of the Bavarian Illuminati.

    Roy and His Rock

  • When He that bowed the Heavens came to save sinners, Zacchaeus, great in zeal, but little of stature, beheld the Tree of Life from in the sycamore; lifted above the earth, he saw Jesus, Who called him: coming down in lowliness, he repenting, received Him; and so salvation came into his house, and he was shown forth a true son of Abraham.

    Lenten Weblog

  • Joshua Green writes, "In every Moore crowd an undercurrent of messianic zeal is detectable, and here a few zealots buttonholed passersby, animated by communist infiltrations and dark tidings of the Bavarian Illuminati."

    Letters to the Editor

  • An enemy who employs 4GW tactics views whatever action he takes as one prong of a sustained campaign in the ser-vice of a political objective (and a political objective, despite all the focus on the bin Laden organization's religious zeal, is something bin Laden has).

    Fourth-generation Warfare

  • The new municipals wished to surpass the former ones in zeal, and this zeal was emulation of tyranny.

    The Ruin of a Princess

  • The scheme was to get me in an insane asylum, and they wished to increase my insanity as they called my zeal, so as to have me out of their way, for I was calling too much attention to their lawlessness, at this time, when it might prove disastrous to their plots.

    The Use and Need of the Life of Carry A. Nation

Comments

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  • I don't eat meat.

    February 19, 2011

  • In her zeal to prepare a meal for us, she cut her index finger deeply.

    February 19, 2011