Enthusiastic devotion to a cause, ideal, or goal. See Synonyms at passion.
[Middle English zele, from Old French zel, from Late Latin zēlus, from Greek zēlos.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.