[ fuh-nat-ik ]
/ fəˈnæt ɪk /


a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal, as in religion or politics.


Nearby words

  1. fan-tan,
  2. fana,
  3. fana test,
  4. fanagalo,
  5. fanakalo,
  6. fanatical,
  7. fanaticism,
  8. fanaticize,
  9. fanback,
  10. fanbase

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

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.

Related formsnon·fa·nat·ic, noun, adjective

Can be confusedfanatic frantic frenetic (see synonym study at the current entry)fanatic phonetic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fanatic

British Dictionary definitions for fanatic


/ (fəˈnætɪk) /


a person whose enthusiasm or zeal for something is extreme or beyond normal limits
informal a person devoted to a particular hobby or pastime; fana jazz fanatic


a variant of fanatical

Word Origin for fanatic

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



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]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper