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[pyoo r-i-tan-i-kuh l] /ˌpyʊər ɪˈtæn ɪ kəl/
very strict in moral or religious matters, often excessively so; rigidly austere.
(sometimes initial capital letter) of, relating to, or characteristic of Puritans or Puritanism.
Also, puritanic.
Origin of puritanical
1600-10; Puritan + -ical
Related forms
puritanically, adverb
puritanicalness, noun
unpuritanic, adjective
unpuritanical, adjective
unpuritanically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for puritanical
  • The new book addresses at length the game's outlaw cachet, as well as its stink in some of our more puritanical noses.
  • In our puritanical culture, you're supposed to suffer for your fun.
  • It's shamelessly permissive or tenaciously puritanical.
  • Some are confined simply because their frightened puritanical families consider them too unruly.
  • His posture on the surface is that of a puritanical moralist excoriating contemporary society for its materialism and vanity.
  • Expecting the world to adopt ascetic puritanical conservation is simply unrealistic.
  • We want to call the kidney beans on our lunch platter puritanical: no syrup, minimal sugar, only hints of spice.
  • There was nothing puritanical, however, in his way of living.
British Dictionary definitions for puritanical


generally (derogatory) strict in moral or religious outlook, esp in shunning sensual pleasures
(sometimes capital) of or relating to a puritan or the Puritans
Derived Forms
puritanically, adverb
puritanicalness, noun
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 puritanical

c.1600, from Puritan + -ical. Chiefly in disparaging use. Related: Puritanically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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