Meaning of Puritan

Pu•ri•tan

Pronunciation: (pyoor'i-tn), [key]
— n.
  1. a member of a group of Protestants that arose in the 16th century within the Church of England, demanding the simplification of doctrine and worship, and greater strictness in religious discipline: during part of the 17th century the Puritans became a powerful political party.
  2. (l.c.) a person who is strict in moral or religious matters, often excessively so.
—adj.
  1. of or pertaining to the Puritans.
  2. (l.c.) of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a moral puritan; puritanical.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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