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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 ?
In leaked audio on Friday, Hun Manith, the prime minister's son, could be heard admonishing officials who had begun the crackdown several hours early, saying it was possible that blame for their over zealousness could land on his father.
Warmists are like the religious zealots of the Tudor period, they insist you worship a mythical notion and only they are right, and of course they don't need evidence for this belief, you've just got to have faith in what they say, and both church and science are well paid for their zealousness.
Zealousness to the cause of the client, as it is called in the classroom.
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This entire issue could have completely been avoided had the FCC been a little smarter with its zealousness to clutter America with translators that may not be authorized for the right places.
These instances demonstrate the zealousness of the SEC and the significant monetary and professional penalties sustained by CFOs.
Its membership is controlled with as much zealousness as other elected offices.
Yet Cruz stopped short of amplifying his staff's zealousness throughout the day, first in a gaggle with reporters Friday afternoon in Virginia then in a TV interview that aired Friday evening.
They tend to see compromise as corruption and zealousness as conviction.
But angry residents said the general zealousness of the wardens had put a dampener on the day's events for many.
More covertly and importantly: The governments of the GCC attempted to convey to their citizens, as well as to the world, that they were a match for the zealousness of postrevolution Iran.
Gold attributes this zealousness to performing variations of the same production to new audiences, night after night, and likens the sublime results to "natural selection.