View synonyms for puritanical


[ pyoor-i-tan-i-kuhl ]


  1. very strict in moral or religious matters, often excessively so; rigidly austere.
  2. Sometimes Puritanical. of, relating to, or characteristic of Puritans or Puritanism.


/ ˌpjʊərɪˈtænɪkəl /


  1. derogatory.
    strict in moral or religious outlook, esp in shunning sensual pleasures
  2. sometimes capital of or relating to a puritan or the Puritans

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Derived Forms

  • ˌpuriˈtanically, adverb
  • ˌpuriˈtanicalness, noun

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Other Words From

  • puri·tani·cal·ly adverb
  • puri·tani·cal·ness noun
  • unpu·ri·tanic adjective
  • unpu·ri·tani·cal adjective
  • unpu·ri·tani·cal·ly adverb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of puritanical1

First recorded in 1600–10; Puritan + -ical

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Example Sentences

After the complete failure and repeal of alcohol prohibition in 1933, America’s puritanical conservatives and government agencies set their sights on drugs.

From Time

His distaste derives from a basic confusion in the position of the puritanical prescriptivist.

Pope Paul VI and the Church at that time could be forgiven for puritanical idealism.

So, people sped by the models less out of puritanical deference to the naked bodies, but to keep up their steely reputations.

Maybe not such a huge problem for the puritanical but sometime very practical mullahs.

Saudi society and government are intricately intertwined with a puritanical flavor of Islam, Wahhabism.

The puritanical party was by far the fewer in numbers, for which two excellent reasons might be given.

But at the time about which we are writing there was in Boston a distinguished family of puritanical ministers named Mather.

His preaching was plain, scriptural, and experimental, in the good old puritanical strain.

In contrast to his predecessor he connived at some irregularities of discipline in the Puritanical clergy.

There was in society, though it was not strait-laced or puritanical, a general standard of "good form."


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Puritan ethicPuritanism