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[ahr-der] /ˈɑr dər/
great warmth of feeling; fervor; passion:
She spoke persuasively and with ardor.
intense devotion, eagerness, or enthusiasm; zeal:
his well-known ardor for Chinese art.
burning heat.
Also, especially British, ardour.
Origin of ardor
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin, equivalent to ārd(ēre) to burn + -or -or1; replacing Middle English ardure < Old French ardur < Latin, as above; 17th century ardour < Anglo-French < Latin, as above
1. fervency, spirit, earnestness, intensity. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for ardour
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In the ardour of the chase the dogs soon ran out of sight, pursuing their quarry towards the shore at Sligachan.

  • The small boys on the bench had had leisure to abate their ardour by this time.

  • She had loved Sir Alexander with all the ardour of a first youthful attachment.

  • But inwardly all the ardour of his mood collapsed at the touch of her.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • Gurney applied his steam-jet to other purposes than propelling locomotives and exciting the ardour of furnaces in ironworks.

    Cornish Characters S. Baring-Gould
  • It wrung his heart to remember the opening of the Institute, the ardour of his boys.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • For all that I accomplished during this day, I believe myself indebted to the strenuousness and ardour of my resolutions.

    Arthur Mervyn Charles Brockden Brown
  • I hasten to reply with all the ardour of which I am capacious.

    Rita Laura E. Richards
  • At a subsequent period he devoted himself with ardour to his improvement in general knowledge.

British Dictionary definitions for ardour


feelings of great intensity and warmth; fervour
eagerness; zeal
Word Origin
C14: from Old French ardour, from Latin ārdor, from ārdēre to burn
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 ardour

chiefly British English spelling of ardor (q.v.); for spelling, see -or.



early 15c., "heat of passion or desire," from Old French ardure "heat, glow; passion" (12c.), from Latin ardorem (nominative ardor) "a flame, fire, burning, heat;" also of feelings, etc., "eagerness, zeal," from ardere "to burn" (see ardent). In Middle English, used of base passions; since Milton's time, of noble ones.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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