- a member of a group of Protestants that arose in the 16th century within the Church of England, demanding the simplification of doctrine and worship, and greater strictness in religious discipline: during part of the 17th century the Puritans became a powerful political party.
- (lowercase) a person who is strict in moral or religious matters, often excessively so.
- of or relating to the Puritans.
- (lowercase) of, relating to, or characteristic of a moral puritan; puritanical.
Origin of Puritan
Examples from the Web for puritan
Indeed, puritan Japan is decades behind the puritan United States when it comes to sex.Japan’s Hypocritical Vagiphobia
July 16, 2014
At least in premodern Europe and Puritan North America, witch-hunting follows certain patterns.Will Saudi Arabia Execute Guest Workers for 'Witchcraft'?
March 29, 2014
Like the Puritan ancestors he never succeeded in escaping, he found fault with just about everything, especially himself.The Man Who Knew Russia Best: George Kennan’s Revealing Diaries
James A. Warren
March 10, 2014
Eventually, Charles I will be overthrown, and the puritan dictator Oliver Cromwell will take power.‘A Field in England’ Is a Psychedelic Cinematic Trip
February 9, 2014
The mindsets of both Cavalier and Puritan took root in the New World, and the experiment launched in 1776 continues.America’s Long-Simmering, Semi-Civil Civil War
October 2, 2013
Angelo, the would-be Puritan ruler, was a "false seemer," Malvolio was a "chough."The Man Shakespeare
All else on his canvas is subordinated to the grim image of the colossal Puritan.The Works of Whittier, Volume VI (of VII)
John Greenleaf Whittier
Of all that is noble and true in the Puritan character we are sincere admirers.The Works of Whittier, Volume VII (of VII)
John Greenleaf Whittier
All creeds may be welded together, but the Puritan and the scoffer are like oil and water.Micah Clarke
Arthur Conan Doyle
He continued to play, but the Puritan sensitiveness had taken hold of him.Bunyan
James Anthony Froude
- a person who adheres to strict moral or religious principles, esp one opposed to luxury and sensual enjoyment
- characteristic of a puritan
- any of the more extreme English Protestants, most of whom were Calvinists, who wished to purify the Church of England of most of its ceremony and other aspects that they deemed to be Catholic
- of, characteristic of, or relating to the Puritans
Word Origin and History for puritan
1560s, "opponent of Anglican hierarchy," later applied opprobriously to "person in Church of England who seeks further reformation" (1570s), probably from purity. Largely historical from 19c. in literal sense. After c.1590s, applied to anyone deemed overly strict in matters of religion and morals.
What [William] Perkins, and the whole Puritan movement after him, sought was to replace the personal pride of birth and status with the professional's or craftsman's pride of doing one's best in one's particular calling. The good Christian society needs the best of kings, magistrates, and citizens. Perkins most emphasized the work ethic from Genesis: "In the swaete of thy browe shalt thou eate thy breade." [E. Digby Baltzell, "Puritan Boston and Quaker Philadelphia," 1979]