What does Zeal mean?

Definitions for Zeal

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Zeal.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. ardor, ardour, elan, zealnoun

    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"

  2. zealnoun

    excessive fervor to do something or accomplish some end

    "he had an absolute zeal for litigation"

  3. readiness, eagerness, zeal, forwardnessnoun

    prompt willingness

    "readiness to continue discussions"; "they showed no eagerness to spread the gospel"; "they disliked his zeal in demonstrating his superiority"; "he tried to explain his forwardness in battle"


  1. zealnoun

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

  2. Etymology: First coined in 1382, from zele, from zel, from zelus, from ζήλος, from ζηλόω. Cognate to jealous.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. ZEALnoun

    Passionate ardour for any person or cause.

    Etymology: ζῆλος, zelus, Latin.

    This present age, wherein zeal hath drowned charity and skill; meekness will not now suffer any man to marvel, whatsoever he shall hear reproved by whomsoever. Richard Hooker.

    If I had had time to have made new liveries, I would have bestowed the thousand pound I borrowed of you: but it is no matter, this poor show doth better; this doth infer the zeal I had to see him. William Shakespeare, Henry IV.

    O Cromwell, Cromwell!
    Had I but serv’d my God with half the zeal
    I serv’d my king, he would not in mine age
    Have left me naked to mine enemies. William Shakespeare.

    Among the seraphims
    Abdiel, than whom none with more zeal ador’d
    The Deity, and divine commands obey’d,
    Stood up, and in a flame of zeal severe,
    The current of his fury thus oppos’d. John Milton, Parad. Lost.

    Zeal, the blind conductor of the will. Dryden.

    She with such a zeal the cause embrac’d,
    As women, where they will, are all in haste;
    The father, mother, and the kin beside,
    Were overborne by the fury of the tide. Dryden.

    The princes applaud with a furious joy,
    And the king seiz’d a flambeau with zeal to destroy. Dryden.

    Seriousness and zeal in religion is natural to the English. John Tillotson, Sermons.

    Good men often blemish the reputation of their piety by over-acting some things in their religion; by an indiscreet zeal about things wherein religion is not concerned. John Tillotson.

    True zeal seems not to be any one single affection of the soul; but rather a strong mixture of many holy affections; rather a gracious constitution of the whole mind, than any one particular grace, swaying a devout heart, and filling it with all pious intentions; all not only uncounterfeit, but most fervent. Thomas Sprat, Sermons.

    When the sins of a nation have provoked God to forsake it, he suffers those to concur in the most pernicious counsels for enslaving conscience, who pretend to the greatest zeal for the liberty of it. Edward Stillingfleet.

    This rebellion has discovered to his majesty, who have espoused his interests with zeal or indifference. Joseph Addison, Freeh.

    A scorn of flattery and a zeal for truth. Alexander Pope.


  1. zeal

    Zeal is a great energy, enthusiasm or passion in pursuit of a cause or objective. It is a feeling of strong eagerness and intense interest.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Zealnoun

    passionate ardor in the pursuit of anything; eagerness in favor of a person or cause; ardent and active interest; engagedness; enthusiasm; fervor

  2. Zealnoun

    a zealot

  3. Zealverb

    to be zealous

  4. Etymology: [F. zle; cf. Pg. & It. zelo, Sp. zelo, celo; from L. zelus, Gr. , probably akin to to boil. Cf. Yeast, Jealous.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Zeal

    zēl, n. boiling or passionate ardour for anything: enthusiasm.—n. Zeal′ant (Bacon), a zealot or enthusiast.—adj. Zeal′less, wanting zeal.—ns. Zealot (zel′ot), one full of zeal: an enthusiast: a fanatic: one of a fanatical Jewish party whose restless opposition to the Roman domination finally brought about the ruin of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.; Zealotism (zel′-), the character of a zealot; Zealotry (zel′-).adj. Zealous (zel′-), full of zeal: warmly engaged or ardent in anything.—adv. Zealously (zel′-).n. Zealousness (zel′-). [O. Fr. zele&mmdash;L. zelus—Gr. zēlos, zeein, to boil. Cf. Yeast.]

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. zeal

    The feeling you have before you secure the thing, as compared with "Stung," which is your condition after you have captured it.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. zeal

    A quality essentially requisite in forming the character of an efficient officer, since it comprehends ardour for the service, prompt obedience to orders, cheerful disposition, and a studious application to professional science.

Suggested Resources

  1. ZEAL

    What does ZEAL stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the ZEAL acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. ZEAL

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Zeal is ranked #120901 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Zeal surname appeared 143 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Zeal.

    92.3% or 132 total occurrences were White.
    6.2% or 9 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce Zeal?

How to say Zeal in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Zeal in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Zeal in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of Zeal in a Sentence

  1. Thomas Fuller:

    Zeal without knowledge is fire without light.

  2. Gerald Ford:

    We have come tardily to the tremendous task of cleaning up our environment. We should have moved with similar zeal at least a decade ago. But no purpose is served by post-mortems. With visionary zeal but the greatest realism, we must now address ourselves to the vast problems that confront us.

  3. Francois De La Rochefoucauld:

    Nothing is less sincere than our mode of asking and giving advice. He who asks seems to have a deference for the opinion of his friend, while he only aims to get approval of his own and make his friend responsible for his action. And he who gives advice repays the confidence supposed to be placed in him by a seemingly disinterested zeal, while he seldom means anything by his advice but his own interest or reputation.

  4. Jeffrey Scott:

    I don't think anybody would survive the political fallout of trying to bring this back, it's got religious zeal to it some camps.

  5. Junius:

    There is a holy, mistaken zeal in politics, as well as in religion. By persuading others, we convince ourselves.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Zeal

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"Zeal." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Zeal>.

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