Pu"ri*tan (?), n. [From Purity.]

1. Eccl. Hist.

One who, in the time of Queen Elizabeth and the first two Stuarts, opposed traditional and formal usages, and advocated simpler forms of faith and worship than those established by law; -- originally, a term of reproach. The Puritans formed the bulk of the early population of New England.

The Puritans were afterward distinguished as Political Puritans, Doctrinal Puritans, and Puritans in Discipline.



One who is scrupulous and strict in his religious life; -- often used reproachfully or in contempt; one who has overstrict notions.

She would make a puritan of the devil. Shak.


© Webster 1913.

Pu"ri*tan, a.

Of or pertaining to the Puritans; resembling, or characteristic of, the Puritans.


© Webster 1913.