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zealot

[zel-uht]
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noun
  1. a person who shows zeal.
  2. an excessively zealous person; fanatic.
  3. (initial capital letter) a member of a radical, warlike, ardently patriotic group of Jews in Judea, particularly prominent from a.d. 69 to 81, advocating the violent overthrow of Roman rule and vigorously resisting the efforts of the Romans and their supporters to heathenize the Jews.
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Origin of zealot

1530–40; earlier zelote < Late Latin zēlōtēs < Greek zēlṓtēs, equivalent to zēlō- (variant stem of zēloûn to be zealous; see zeal) + -tēs agent suffix
Related formsun·der·zeal·ot, noun

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

Related Words

militantfanaticradicalnutmaniacextremistdiehardactivistfiendultra

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British Dictionary definitions for zealot

zealot

noun
  1. an immoderate, fanatical, or extremely zealous adherent to a cause, esp a religious one
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Word Origin

C16: from Late Latin zēlōtēs, from Greek, from zēloun to be zealous, from zēlos zeal

Zealot

noun
  1. any of the members of an extreme Jewish sect or political party that resisted all aspects of Roman rule in Palestine in the 1st century ad
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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 zealot

n.

c.1300, "member of a militant 1st century Jewish sect which fiercely resisted the Romans in Palestine," from Late Latin Zelotes, from Greek zelotes "one who is a zealous follower," from zeloun "to be zealous," from zelos "zeal" (see zeal). Extended sense of "a fanatical enthusiast" first recorded 1630s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper