Part of speech: noun
Origin: Late Middle English, 15th century
Great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective.
Examples of Zeal in a sentence
"Tiffany had an incredible zeal for knitting socks to give as Christmas presents."
"I tackled my messy closet with zeal so I could get it as organized as the Instagram posts I saved."
Popularity Over Time
“Zeal” appeared first in Middle English as “zele.” This was based on the Latin “zēlus” and the Ancient Greek “ζῆλος,” or “zêlos,” meaning “jealousy.”
Did you Know?
“Zeal” shares the same root as the word “jealousy,” and there are parallels between the two. Zeal is a state of passionate enthusiasm for a project or cause that can run to extremes, while jealousy is a state of extreme insecurity. While jealousy is often destructive, a person with zeal can do good things and have intense devotion to worthy causes. However, a “zealot” can take passionate convictions into extremism and negative ends. As such, "zeal" is a measure of the intensity of the feeling, not of the direction it takes a person.