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From Ancient Greek ζῆλος (zêlos, zeal, jealousy), from ζηλόω (zēlóō, to emulate, to be jealous). Doublet of jealous.



zealous (comparative more zealous, superlative most zealous)

  1. Full of zeal; ardent, fervent; exhibiting enthusiasm or strong passion.
    • 1791, James Boswell, The life of Samuel Johnson, new ed. (1831) by John Wilson Croker, volume 1, page 238:
      Johnson was truly zealous for the success of "The Adventurer;" and very soon after his engaging in it, he wrote the following letter:
    • 1896, Andrew Dickson White, A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom (2004 edition), page 122:
      Doubtless many will exclaim against the Roman Catholic Church for this; but the simple truth is that Protestantism was no less zealous against the new scientific doctrine.
    • 1940, Foster Rhea Dulles, America Learns to Play: A history of popular recreation, 1607-1940, page 61:
      [] and there were few more zealous dancers at the fashionable balls in the Raleigh Tavern at Williamsburg.
    • 2011 April 4, "Newt Gingrich," Time (retrieved 9 Sept 2013):
      Newt Gingrich . . . left Congress in 1998, following GOP midterm-election losses that many blamed on his zealous pursuit of Bill Clinton's impeachment.



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