“For good reason, the zebras were zealots for the anti-zebra skin movement.”

What is the best definition of zealot?

Check your answer!

Choice A - An energetic rival or antagonist
Choice B - An enthusiastic supporter or devotee
Choice C - A religious fervor or passion for a cause
Choice D - An unwavering compassion for others


Zealot (noun) – someone who is passionate – even fanatical – about a cause or objective; an enthusiastic supporter or follower 

Zealous (adjective) – full of zeal: enthusiastic and passionate about a cause  

Zealotry (noun) – the fanatical and uncompromising pursuit of an ideal

GRE pro tips:

The word zealot was originally used in reference to a sect of first-century Jews who were absolutely determined (even fanatical) to overthrow Roman rule in Palestine. These days, anyone who takes their zeal, or gusto, to the extreme for a cause or ideal can be called a zealot. You can be a zealot for a sports team, for instance, a  political party, a religion, or even for hot yoga. Zealots are extremists who tend to go overboard in their enthusiasm and devotion. 

For instance, some anti-fur protesters can be called zealots – especially the ones who wait outside of fancy restaurants or plays to throw red paint on wealthy passersby who appear to be wearing real fur. To better remember zealot, think of the zealous zebras who fervently protest the use and distribution of zebra hides (and for good reason!).   

Example sentences:

“Zach’s career as a civil rights attorney kept him busy; in addition to the genuinely aggrieved, his client list was full of activists, zealots, and extremists of all kinds.”

“He took coffee seriously – maybe too seriously. Before taking a sip, the coffee zealot had to know where it was grown, who grew it, and how it was roasted.”