A lot vs. Alot: 9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[fuh-nat-ik] /fəˈnæt ɪk/
a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal, as in religion or politics.
1515-25; < Latin fānāticus pertaining to a temple, inspired by orgiastic rites, frantic, equivalent to fān(um) temple + -āticus, equivalent to -āt(us) -ate1 + -icus -ic
Related forms
nonfanatic, noun, adjective
Can be confused
fanatic, frantic, frenetic (see synonym study at the current entry)
fanatic, phonetic.
1. enthusiast, zealot, bigot, hothead, militant. Fanatic, zealot, militant, devotee refer to persons showing more than ordinary support for, adherence to, or interest in a cause, point of view, or activity. Fanatic and zealot both suggest excessive or overweening devotion to a cause or belief. Fanatic further implies unbalanced or obsessive behavior: a wild-eyed fanatic. Zealot, only slightly less unfavorable in implication than fanatic, implies single-minded partisanship: a tireless zealot for tax reform. Militant stresses vigorous, aggressive support for or opposition to a plan or ideal and suggests a combative stance. Devotee is a milder term than any of the foregoing, suggesting enthusiasm but not to the exclusion of other interests or possible points of view: a jazz devotee. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fanatics
  • But critics could not dampen the spirits of radio fanatics.
  • Nothing can be more contradictory or more absurd than the comments of fanatics upon the divine prophecies.
  • He quoted him as an expert on fanatics and the pointlessness of trying to reason with them.
  • And, it is a good way to make fun of fanatics in turn.
  • He told me how in their minds, because they are fanatics, they never have any qualms or human feelings about it.
  • Sure it has been mentioned by a few fanatics, but no-one is seriously thinking that is the main benefit.
  • And you fanatics always deny the fact that the models cannot predict the future.
  • What conga lines at dance parties and chanting soccer fanatics reveal about our deep need to coordinate with others.
  • Then dictators were eliminated by self proclaimed democracy and liberating radicals and fanatics.
  • Apple fanatics are about as biased and unscientific as anyone can be.
British Dictionary definitions for fanatics


a person whose enthusiasm or zeal for something is extreme or beyond normal limits
(informal) a person devoted to a particular hobby or pastime; fan: a jazz fanatic
a variant of fanatical
Word Origin
C16: from Latin fānāticus belonging to a temple, hence, inspired by a god, frenzied, from fānum temple
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fanatics



1520s, "insane person," from Latin fanaticus "mad, enthusiastic, inspired by a god," also "furious, mad," originally, "pertaining to a temple," from fanum "temple," related to festus "festive" (see feast). Meaning "zealous person" is mid-17c. As an adjective, in English, 1530s, "furious;" meaning "characterized by excessive enthusiasm," especially in religion (of Nonconformists), is from 1640s.

A fanatic is someone who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. [attributed to Winston Churchill]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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