[ pyoo r-i-tan-i-kuh l ]
/ ˌpyʊər ɪˈtæn ɪ kəl /


very strict in moral or religious matters, often excessively so; rigidly austere.
(sometimes initial capital letter) of, relating to, or characteristic of Puritans or Puritanism.

Nearby words

  1. purism,
  2. purist,
  3. puritan,
  4. puritan ethic,
  5. puritan spoon,
  6. puritanism,
  7. puritans,
  8. purity,
  9. purkinje cell,
  10. purkinje fiber

Often pu·ri·tan·ic.

Origin of puritanical

First recorded in 1600–10; Puritan + -ical

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for puritanical

British Dictionary definitions for puritanical


less commonly puritanic

/ (ˌpjʊərɪˈtænɪkəl) /


usually derogatory strict in moral or religious outlook, esp in shunning sensual pleasures
(sometimes capital) of or relating to a puritan or the Puritans
Derived Formspuritanically, adverbpuritanicalness, noun

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 puritanical



c.1600, from Puritan + -ical. Chiefly in disparaging use. Related: Puritanically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper