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faith·ful (fāthfəl)
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adj.
1. Adhering firmly and devotedly, as to a person, cause, or idea; loyal.
2. Engaging in sex only with one's spouse or only with one's partner in a sexual relationship.
3.
a. Responsible; conscientious: the faithful discharge of his duties.
b. Dependable; reliable: The faithful engine started right up.
4. Consistent with truth or actuality: a faithful reproduction of the portrait.
5. Having or full of faith.
pl.n.
1. The practicing members of a religious faith, especially of Christianity or Islam: a pilgrimage to Mecca made by the faithful.
2. The steadfast adherents of a faith or cause: a meeting of the party faithful.

faithful·ly adv.
faithful·ness n.

Synonyms: faithful, loyal, true, constant, steadfast, staunch1
These adjectives mean adhering firmly and devotedly to someone or something that elicits or demands one's fidelity. Faithful and loyal both suggest undeviating attachment, though loyal applies more often to political allegiance: a faithful employee; a loyal citizen. True implies steadiness, sincerity, and reliability: remained true to her innermost beliefs. Constant stresses uniformity and invariability: "But I am constant as the northern star" (Shakespeare).
Steadfast implies fixed, unswerving loyalty: a steadfast ally. Staunch even more strongly suggests unshakable attachment or allegiance: a staunch supporter of the cause.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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