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[zel-uh s] /ˈzɛl əs/
full of, characterized by, or due to zeal; ardently active, devoted, or diligent.
Origin of zealous
1520-30; < Medieval Latin zēlōsus. See zeal, -ous
Related forms
zealously, adverb
zealousness, noun
nonzealous, adjective
nonzealously, adverb
nonzealousness, noun
underzealous, adjective
underzealously, adverb
underzealousness, noun
unzealous, adjective
unzealously, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for zealous
  • Let us not punish these companies and there customers by over zealous regulation.
  • zealous anti-nuclear lobbyists and a mal-informed government have created the pending energy crisis.
  • However, this should not be mistaken as an zealous and dogmatic certainty.
  • It should not seem strange then to zealous students, if some such people shall ridicule us also.
  • He was a zealous hunter who loved his guns and his dogs.
  • zealous secrecy in response to a foreign threat is not new, of course.
  • In many ways, modern environmentalists remind people of cult members or zealous religious fanatics.
  • He also charges that tax inspectors are less zealous in the south of the country.
  • His more zealous volunteers yearned for clarion calls, not pentameter.
  • They are inspired by zealous organizations to monitor parental drinking.
British Dictionary definitions for zealous


filled with or inspired by intense enthusiasm or zeal; ardent; fervent
Derived Forms
zealously, adverb
zealousness, 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 zealous

1520s, from Medieval Latin zelosus (source of Italian zeloso, Spanish celoso), from zelus (see zeal). Related: Zealously, zealousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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