AskDefine | Define zeal

The Collaborative Dictionary

Zeal \Zeal\, v. i. To be zealous. [Obs. & R.] --Bacon. [1913 Webster]
Zeal \Zeal\ (z[=e]l), n. [F. z[`e]le; cf. Pg. & It. zelo, Sp. zelo, celo; from L. zelus, Gr. ?, probably akin to ? to boil. Cf. Yeast, Jealous.] [1913 Webster]
Passionate ardor in the pursuit of anything; eagerness in favor of a person or cause; ardent and active interest; engagedness; enthusiasm; fervor. "Ambition varnished o'er with zeal." --Milton. "Zeal, the blind conductor of the will." --Dryden. "Zeal's never-dying fire." --Keble. [1913 Webster] I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. --Rom. x.
[1913 Webster] A zeal for liberty is sometimes an eagerness to subvert with little care what shall be established. --Johnson. [1913 Webster]
A zealot. [Obs.] --B. Jonson. [1913 Webster]

Word Net



1 a feeling of strong eagerness (usually in favor of a person or cause); "they were imbued with a revolutionary ardor"; "he felt a kind of religious zeal" [syn: ardor, ardour, elan]
2 excessive fervor to do something or accomplish some end; "he had an absolute zeal for litigation"

Moby Thesaurus

abandon, acquiescence, agitation, agreeability, agreeableness, alacrity, all-overs, amenability, angst, anxiety, anxiety hysteria, anxiety neurosis, anxious bench, anxious concern, anxious seat, anxiousness, apprehension, apprehensiveness, ardency, ardor, avidity, bibliolatry, bluster, brawl, broil, brouhaha, cacophony, calenture, cankerworm of care, care, chaos, charismatic gift, charismatic movement, charismatic renewal, cheerful consent, commitment, committedness, commotion, compliance, concern, concernment, consent, cooperativeness, dedication, devotedness, devotion, devoutness, disquiet, disquietude, distress, disturbance, docility, dread, eagerness, earnestness, ebullition, ecstasy, embroilment, energy, enthusiasm, excitement, faith, faithfulness, fanaticism, favorable disposition, favorableness, fear, ferment, fervency, fervidness, fervor, fidelity, fierceness, fire, flap, fomentation, foofaraw, foreboding, forebodingness, forwardness, frenzy, fume, furor, furore, fury, fuss, gameness, gift of tongues, glossolalia, goodwill, gusto, heart, heartiness, heat, heatedness, hubbub, hurrah, impassionedness, inquietude, intensity, intentness, keenness, liveliness, loyalty, malaise, misgiving, nervous strain, nervous tension, nervousness, overanxiety, overdevoutness, overpiousness, overreligiousness, overrighteousness, overzealousness, pandemonium, passion, passionateness, pentecostalism, perturbation, pins and needles, pliability, pliancy, promptness, pucker, racket, rage, readiness, receptive mood, receptiveness, receptivity, relish, resolution, responsiveness, revival, revivalism, right mood, row, ruckus, rumpus, sanctimony, savor, seriousness, sincerity, solicitude, soul, spirit, stew, storminess, strain, suspense, tempestuousness, tension, tractability, trouble, tumult, tumultuousness, turbulence, turmoil, uneasiness, ungrudgingness, unloathness, unquietness, unreluctance, uproar, upset, urgency, vehemence, verve, vexation, warmth, warmth of feeling, wildness, willing ear, willing heart, willingness, zealotism, zealotry, zealousness, zest



(US) IPA: /ziːl/
(US) SAMPA: /zi:jəl/


First coined 1382, from Middle English “zele”, from Old French “zel”, from Late Latin “zēlus”, from ζήλος < ζηλόω.


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


Related terms


Zeal may refer to:
zeal in Japanese: ジール
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