A group of radical English Protestants that arose in the late sixteenth century and became a major force in England during the seventeenth century. Puritans wanted to “purify” the Church of England by eliminating traces of its origins in the Roman Catholic Church. In addition, they urged a strict moral code and placed a high value on hard work (see work ethic). After the execution of King Charles I in 1649, they controlled the new government, the Commonwealth. Oliver Cromwell, who became leader of the Commonwealth, is the best-known Puritan.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
How to use Puritans in a sentence
The sanctimonious, the Puritans of all stripes, and the killjoys in general raise the issue annually.
Historically, the Puritans banned Christmas from the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1659.Kirk Cameron Saves Christmas from Abominable Killjoys (Other Christians) | Brandy Zadrozny | November 14, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
But the men, not less, perhaps even more, characteristic of New England, were the Puritans of our day.The Real Memorial Day: Oliver Wendell Holmes's Salute To A Momentous American Anniversary | Malcolm Jones | May 26, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Were the Christmas-hating Puritans on the Mayflower “Scrooges”?
The Puritans got modern American cuisine off to a bad start.
He was tutor to lady Jane Grey, and more noted for his severity against the Puritans than for his learning.The Every Day Book of History and Chronology | Joel Munsell
The Puritans attacked the drama as contrary to Holy Writ, as destructive of religion, and as a menace to public morality.Shakespearean Playhouses | Joseph Quincy Adams
He was a sincere and energetic Calvinist, and in 1565 he wrote to Cecil lamenting the measures taken against the Puritans.Ireland Under the Tudors, Vol. II (of 3) | Richard Bagwell
Great activity was evinced in their repair, for they had fallen into sad decay during the hard rule of the Puritans.The Influence and Development of English Gilds | Francis Aiden Hibbert
The characteristics of the separate and independent government of these two classes of Puritans were widely different.The Loyalists of America and Their Times, Vol. 1 of 2 | Egerton Ryerson