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fanatic

[fuh-nat-ik]
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noun
  1. a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal, as in religion or politics.
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adjective
  1. fanatical.
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Origin of fanatic

1515–25; < Latin fānāticus pertaining to a temple, inspired by orgiastic rites, frantic, equivalent to fān(um) temple + -āticus, equivalent to -āt(us) -ate1 + -icus -ic
Related formsnon·fa·nat·ic, noun, adjective
Can be confusedfanatic frantic frenetic (see synonym study at the current entry)fanatic phonetic

Synonyms

See more synonyms for fanatic on Thesaurus.com
1. enthusiast, zealot, bigot, hothead, militant. Fanatic, zealot, militant, devotee refer to persons showing more than ordinary support for, adherence to, or interest in a cause, point of view, or activity. Fanatic and zealot both suggest excessive or overweening devotion to a cause or belief. Fanatic further implies unbalanced or obsessive behavior: a wild-eyed fanatic. Zealot, only slightly less unfavorable in implication than fanatic, implies single-minded partisanship: a tireless zealot for tax reform. Militant stresses vigorous, aggressive support for or opposition to a plan or ideal and suggests a combative stance. Devotee is a milder term than any of the foregoing, suggesting enthusiasm but not to the exclusion of other interests or possible points of view: a jazz devotee.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for fanatic

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Since I have seized my own liberty I am a fanatic for freedom.

    Ballads of a Bohemian

    Robert W. Service

  • For the fanatic is one of the hinges which swing the door of the modern world.

  • The fanatic is troublesome, but comparatively easy to deal with.

    Mountain Meditations

    L. Lind-af-Hageby

  • The great reformer was held a fanatic, intent on destroying government.

    Blood and Iron

    John Hubert Greusel

  • One word as to the alleged "intolerance of the fanatic Orangemen of Belfast."

    Ireland as It Is

    Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)


British Dictionary definitions for fanatic

fanatic

noun
  1. a person whose enthusiasm or zeal for something is extreme or beyond normal limits
  2. informal a person devoted to a particular hobby or pastime; fana jazz fanatic
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adjective
  1. a variant of fanatical
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Word Origin

C16: from Latin fānāticus belonging to a temple, hence, inspired by a god, frenzied, from fānum temple
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

Word Origin and History for fanatic

n.

1520s, "insane person," from Latin fanaticus "mad, enthusiastic, inspired by a god," also "furious, mad," originally, "pertaining to a temple," from fanum "temple," related to festus "festive" (see feast). Meaning "zealous person" is mid-17c. As an adjective, in English, 1530s, "furious;" meaning "characterized by excessive enthusiasm," especially in religion (of Nonconformists), is from 1640s.

A fanatic is someone who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. [attributed to Winston Churchill]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper