Definition of zealot in English:

zealot

Syllabification: zeal·ot
Pronunciation: /ˈzelət
 
/

noun

  • 1A person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals.
    More example sentences
    • He says there have always been religious zealots, but modern technology has given them a lethal capacity.
    • The level of delusion here eclipses that of the most fanatical of religious zealots.
    • Creationism often conjures visions of religious zealots who believe the book of Genesis verbatim.
    Synonyms
    fanatic, enthusiast, extremist, radical, young Turk, diehard, true believer, activist, militant; bigot, dogmatist, sectarian, partisan
    informal fiend, maniac, ultra, nut
    eager beaver
  • 1.1 (Zealot) historical A member of an ancient Jewish sect aiming at a world Jewish theocracy and resisting the Romans until ad 70.
    More example sentences
    • One can think of the 1st century situation in Palestine where Jewish Zealots would publicly slit the throats of Romans and their collaborators.
    • After Herod's death in 4 BC, Masada was captured by the Romans, but in ad 66 Jewish Zealots took it by surprise and occupied it.
    • The Jewish Zealots at Massada committed suicide rather than be defeated and taken into slavery by the Romans.

Origin

mid 16th century (in the sense 'member of an ancient Jewish sect'): via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek zēlōtēs, from zēloun 'be jealous', from zēlos (see zeal).

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