- any member of a Protestant group in England and the American colonies that in the 16th and 17th cent. wanted to make the Church of England simpler in its services and stricter about morals
- a person regarded as excessively strict in morals and religion
Origin of Puritan; from Late Latin puritas (see purity) + -an
- of the Puritans or Puritanism
- A member of a group of English Protestants who in the 1500s and 1600s advocated strict religious discipline along with simplification of the ceremonies and creeds of the Church of England.
- puritan A person who is very strict or austere in religious practice or moral outlook, especially someone who regards pleasure or luxury as sinful.
- Of or relating to the Puritans or Puritanism.
- puritan Characteristic of a puritan; puritanical.
Origin of PuritanFrom Late Latin pūritās, purity (on the model of Medieval Latin Kathari, “the Pure Ones,” a third-century sect of rigorist heretics), from Latin pūrus, pure; see peu&schwa;- in Indo-European roots.
- (often disapproving): a puritanical person
(comparative more puritan, superlative most puritan)
- A member of a particular Protestant religious sect.