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Zealot


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A member of an ancient Jewish sect aiming at a world Jewish theocracy and resisting the Romans until ad 70. The name is recorded from the mid 16th century, and comes via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek zēlōtēs, from zēloun ‘be jealous’, from zēlos ‘zeal’.

The extended sense of zealot as a person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals is recorded from the mid 17th century.

Subjects: Religion


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