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Origin of zeal

1350–1400; Middle English zele < Late Latin zēlus < Greek zêlos
Related formszeal·less, adjectiveun·der·zeal, noun

Synonyms for zeal

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Antonyms for zeal

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for zeal


  1. fervent or enthusiastic devotion, often extreme or fanatical in nature, as to a religious movement, political cause, ideal, or aspiration

Word Origin for zeal

C14: from Late Latin zēlus, from Greek zēlos
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 zeal

late 14c., from Late Latin zelus "zeal, emulation" (source of Old French zel, Italian zelo, Spanish celo), a Church word, from Greek zelos "zeal, ardor, jealousy," which is of uncertain origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper