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Related to zealousness: irrevocable, precariously, presumptuous, graciously


Filled with or motivated by zeal; fervent.

zeal′ous·ly adv.
zeal′ous·ness n.



barnburner A radical, zealot, or extremist; historically, a member of the radical faction of the Democratic party in New York State (1840-50) so eager for political reform that he would through excess of zeal destroy what he wished to preserve. The term, which dates from 1841, comes from the older phrase, burn a barn to kill the rats, in use since 1807.

This school of Democrats was termed Barnburners, in allusion to the story of an old Dutchman, who relieved himself of rats by burning down his barns which they infested, —just like exterminating all banks and corporations, to root out the abuses connected therewith. (New York Tríbune, 1848)

eager beaver A ball of fire, an especially industrious or zealous person; an excessively aggressive or ambitious person, a go-getter. This American expression, dating from the mid-1900s, is a reference to the beaver’s reputation for being particularly hardworking and diligent. Earlier similar phrases include work like a beaver ‘work very hard or industriously,’ which dates from the early 18th century; and industrious or busy as a beaver ‘very busy,’ in use since the early 19th century.

gung ho Wholeheartedly enthusiastic; eager, zealous, patriotic, loyal. Gung ho is a corruption of the Chinese kung ho ‘work together’ (kung ‘work’ + ho ‘together’). The unit of United States Marines that served under General Evans F. Carlson in World War II adopted the expression as its slogan. The phrase appeared in its original form, kung-hou, as early as 1942.

In those days he was very gung ho for National Socialism and the pan-Germanic grandeur it was going to produce. (R. M. Stern, Kessler Legacy, 1967)

hellbent Recklessly dogged or stubbornly determined; resolute, persistent; going at breakneck speed. The term, of American origin, dates from at least 1835. It has spawned the expanded forms hellbent for leather, hellbent for election, and hellbent for breakfast. Hell or hellbent for leather, thought to be originally British but popular on both sides of the Atlantic, has only the second sense of hellbent, i.e., going at tremendous speed. The reference is to riding on horseback, leather referring to the leather of the saddle. The expression is found in Rudyard Kipling’s The Story of the Gadsbys, published in 1888. Hellbent for election is said to have originated in the Maine gubernatorial race of 1840. Hellbent for breakfast, dating from at least 1931, is another expanded form of hellbent; it is used in the second sense only—going at great speed.

whirling dervish A person who vociferously expounds his opinions and beliefs; a zealot. A dervish is an Islamic priest or monk who, during religious ceremonies and prayers, frequently enters a type of ecstatic rapture marked by wild dancing, violent movements, and loud singing or chanting. Thus, these holy men came to be known as whirling dervishes or howling dervishes.

And now, their guttural chorus audible long before they arrived in sight, came the howling dervishes. (Amelia B. Edwards, A Thousand Miles Up the Nile, 1877)

The expression is applied in non-Islamic contexts by extension.

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Passionate devotion to or interest in a cause or subject, for example:
References in periodicals archive ?
But angry residents said the general zealousness of the wardens had put a dampener on the day's events for many.
Today, the accusation of being a "cafeteria Catholic" is flung around with the same zealousness as the term "heretic" was at one time.
These comments discern that the voiceover resembles Maoist propaganda and bear a tone of Maoist passion, which merge sporting enthusiasm with revolutionary zealousness.
Instead, defense counsel who are unencumbered in their zealousness represent the most ironclad guarantee of court-martial impartiality and justice.
The retiring justice Riaz Ahmad Khan was also lauded for his stupendous services rendered for infrastructure, Bench Bar and other events with equal zealousness and elan; while also rendering historically just verdicts in many human rights cases, which would be inscribed in golden words.
While there will be abiding warmth, friendliness and simple sunny smiles that I will remember when I recall Bahrain, I will also carry in my mind's bum-bag, the almost zealousness with which people tolerate delay, postponement, adjournment.
designed gatekeeper structures can mitigate many of the zealousness,
Several columnists agreed that the PGR and the court that accepted the charges might have overreached in their zealousness to detain Gordillo, also known by her nickname of la maestra.
9) Many might argue that Chrisman's language is "sixtyish," that it betrays the zealousness of the turbulent decade, that typical of that moment his analysis overreaches; yet, forty-two years later, nearly 1 million African Americans are incarcerated, largely due to a phony and discriminatory "drug war.
He considered his victory "a triumph for wisdom, moderation, development, and awareness, over extremism and zealousness.
GERB conclude they were expecting an independent probe and call on BSP to show the same zealousness when it comes to their Ministers in the Three-Way Coalition Cabinet.
As long-time friend Lesley Sachs, director of Women of the Wall, puts it, "Anything she decides to do, she gives the same zealousness she used to become a champion swimmer.