From Middle English zele, from Old French zel, from Late Latin zēlus, from Ancient Greek ζῆλος (zêlos, “zeal, jealousy”), from Proto-Indo-European *yeh₂- (“to search”). Related to jealous.
zeal (countable and uncountable, plural zeals)
- The fervour or tireless devotion for a person, cause, or ideal and determination in its furtherance; diligent enthusiasm; powerful interest.
- She extols the virtues of veganism with missionary zeal.
- Synonyms: ardour, eagerness, enthusiasm, intensity, passion
- Antonym: apathy
- 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], →OCLC, Romans 10:2:
- I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
- 1687, [John Dryden], “The Third Part”, in The Hind and the Panther. A Poem, in Three Parts, 2nd edition, London: Printed for Jacob Tonson […], →OCLC, page 96:
- Zeal, the blind conductor of the will
- 1779, David Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, page 143-144:
- […] the highest zeal in religion and the deepest hypocrisy, so far from being inconsistent, are often or commonly united in the same individual character.
- 1815 December (indicated as 1816), [Jane Austen], chapter 14, in Emma: […], volume (please specify |volume=I, II or III), London: […] [Charles Roworth and James Moyes] for John Murray, →OCLC, page 250:
- [He] would begin admiring her drawings with so much zeal and so little knowledge as seemed terribly like a would-be lover,
- 1962, Rachel Carson, chapter 15, in Silent Spring, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, page 248:
- The stockman’s zeal for eliminating the coyote has resulted in plagues of field mice, which the coyote formerly controlled.
- (obsolete) A person who exhibits such fervour or tireless devotion.
- Synonym: zealot
- 1614, Ben Jonson, Bartholomew Fair, London: Robert Allot, page 85:
- […] like a malicious purblinde zeale as thou art!
- 1642, Thomas Browne, Religio Medici, London: Andrew Crooke, page 5:
- […] there are questionlesse both in Greeke, Roman and Africa Churches, solemnities, and ceremonies, whereof the wiser zeales doe make a Christian use, and stand condemned by us;
- The collective noun for a group of zebras.
- 2012, Alex Kuskowski, Zeal of Zebras: Animal Groups on an African Safari, →ISBN, page 8:
- A zeal of zebras confuses predators. Each zebra has a different set of stripes.
fervor or devotion