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Puritan Syllabification: Pu·ri·tan
Pronunciation: /ˈpyo͝oritn/

Definition of Puritan in English:


1A member of a group of English Protestants of the late 16th and 17th centuries who regarded the Reformation of the Church of England under Elizabeth as incomplete and sought to simplify and regulate forms of worship.
Example sentences
  • From its inception there had been a committed Protestant minority who aspired to complete a full Protestant reformation - the Puritans.
  • Excessive frivolity has always been frowned upon by some, and Christmas was not celebrated by the Puritans or Calvinists.
  • Unlike the English Puritans, the Dutch Reformed ministers made no efforts to evangelise the native peoples of the area.
1.1 (puritan) A person with censorious moral beliefs, especially about pleasure and sex.
Example sentences
  • These are precisely the values the puritans and zealots of many faiths and ideologies would destroy.
  • A few centuries ago it may not have seemed out of place, but even modern-day American puritans have been shocked by Florida's so-called ‘Scarlet Letter’ law.
  • Teetotalers, or people who drink in moderation, on the other hand are boring, no fun, puritans, kill-joys etc.


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1Of or relating to the Puritans.
Example sentences
  • The religious experiments of Archbishop Laud reactivated Puritan militancy.
  • She sets this change within the context of a wider intellectual shift from Puritan piety to the Enlightenment's faith in progress and the inherent goodness of man.
  • The religious intensity of Puritan settlers infused every facet of life in seventeenth-century New England, including criminality.
1.1 (puritan) Having or displaying censorious moral beliefs, especially about pleasure and sex.
Example sentences
  • Bangalore seemed to suit him better, with its catholicity of social life and its absence of puritan guardians of moral behaviour.
  • Feng Yuxiang's forces were subjected with severity to their commander's puritan morals: no drinking, gambling, swearing, or resort to prostitutes was permitted.
  • Suffused with puritan guilt, his self interest had its limits.


Late 16th century: from late Latin puritas 'purity' + -an.



Pronunciation: /ˈpyo͝oritnism/
(also puritanism) noun
Example sentences
  • There is a difference between prudence and puritanism.
  • The new design reveals a conscious effort to soften the austerity and puritanism of Modernism by incorporating traditional architectural features.
  • Some people would tell the story of your earlier life as an escape from the austerity and puritanism and greyness and lack of colour of Britain at that time, certainly in the 1950s.

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