from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A person marked or motivated by an extreme, unreasoning enthusiasm, as for a cause.
  • adj. Fanatical.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Fanatical.
  • adj. Showing evidence of possession by a god or demon; frenzied, over-zealous.
  • n. A person who is zealously enthusiastic for some cause, especially in religion.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pertaining to, or indicating, fanaticism; extravagant in opinions; ultra; unreasonable; excessively enthusiastic, especially on religious subjects
  • n. A person affected by excessive enthusiasm, particularly on religious subjects; one who indulges wild and extravagant notions of religion.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Same as fanatical.
  • n. A person affected by zeal or enthusiasm, particularly on religious subjects; one given to wild and extravagant notions of religion.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. marked by excessive enthusiasm for and intense devotion to a cause or idea
  • n. a person motivated by irrational enthusiasm (as for a cause)


Latin fānāticus, inspired by orgiastic rites, pertaining to a temple, from fānum, temple; see dhēs- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested in 1525. From Latin fānāticus ("of a temple, divinely inspired, frenzied"), from fānum ("temple"). Influenced by French fanatique. (Wiktionary)


  • Giving a whole new meaning to the term fanatic, this deranged devotee and No 1 fan of a romance-novel writer (James Caan), holds him against his will, forces a rewrite of the protagonist's fate and then sledgehammers his legs so he can't escape from her.


  • Sorry, but a fanatic is a fanatic, regardless of what sheepskin she wears.

    Think Progress » The Right, Religion and The Supreme Court: What a Difference a Month Makes

  • The pope says many parts of the world are now facing threats to peace, including terrorism and what he calls fanatic fundamentalist.

    CNN Transcript Jan 1, 2006

  • In my experience, the essential pop fanatic is a polygamist.


  • My mother's family has been American since 1639, my great + grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War, and no fanatic is telling me to leave my country because I don't listen to Fox News.

    Axelrod slams Romney

  • I am an oatmeal raisin fanatic - so can I sub raisins for the choc chips and throw in some pecans??

    Mom's oatmeal cookies | Homesick Texan

  • I'm always worried some Red Sox fanatic is going to give Frank a little "Fenway massage" with a bat or something.

    Funny Video! Frank Cheats Death at Fenway

  • You resemble nothing so much as a Palin fanatic circa Pearl Harbor Day 2008.

    Matthew Yglesias » The Right’s Growth Record

  • I read "Napalm and Silly Putty" ― a must read for any Carlin fanatic ― this past week, after finding it in a library book sale this winter.

    I Miss George Carlin

  • There's no way to please all the fans with all the interpretations, but this fanatic is quite pleased so far.

    Brown Thing


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.