- 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 puritans
The sanctimonious, the puritans of all stripes, and the killjoys in general raise the issue annually.Keep Christmas Commercialized!
P. J. O’Rourke
December 6, 2014
Historically, the Puritans banned Christmas from the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1659.Kirk Cameron Saves Christmas from Abominable Killjoys (Other Christians)
November 14, 2014
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
May 26, 2014
The Puritans got modern American cuisine off to a bad start.Reichl’s Favorite Food Books
August 11, 2011
Is it because, as a lot of critics say, deep down we always have been and always will be Puritans at heart?Weinergate: Men Will Always Cheat
June 17, 2011
On his return, he married "Lydia Tindall, of the denomination of Puritans."The Works of Whittier, Volume VI (of VII)
John Greenleaf Whittier
The true history of the Puritans of New England is yet to be written.The Works of Whittier, Volume VII (of VII)
John Greenleaf Whittier
The religion and philosophy of the Puritans were in this respect at one with the gospel of the frontier.The American Mind
Plato, like the Puritans, is too much afraid of poetic and artistic influences.Gorgias
But the shout set up by the Puritans announced to them that their movement had been detected.The Tavern Knight
- 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 puritans
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]
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.