Definition of evangelist in US English:



  • 1A person who seeks to convert others to the Christian faith, especially by public preaching.

    • ‘Many evangelists preach an easy believism: no repentance, no yielding to Christ as Lord, no necessity for water baptism, no casting out of demons, no infilling of the Holy Spirit.’
    • ‘He delivered countless lectures all over the world, crossing all the continents and successfully engaging some of the biggest names in Christian evangelists in public debates.’
    • ‘They are not necessarily members of same churches or fans of the same evangelists on television.’
    • ‘The preoccupation with inventive use of materials, economy and connection with place are all apparent; these rural evangelists practise what they preach.’
    • ‘The hymn was the favourite of the Christian evangelist Billy Graham and its official title is O Lord My God, When I In Awesome Wonder.’
    • ‘They cannot tolerate the possibility that God may be working through other faiths - or at least that he might have the power to save those who never encountered a Christian evangelist.’
    • ‘There was a time when religious evangelists, of all faiths, proudly promoted their creeds on the basis that they constituted the truth.’
    • ‘Public perceptions of charismatic evangelists tend to be ambivalent.’
    • ‘As a result, in America today, people hear more about evolution from evangelists preaching against it, than they do from their high school teachers.’
    • ‘Thus, when evangelists preach the message of the Cross to today's generation, they are dismayed that increasingly people scoff at the message.’
    • ‘The book then traces the rise of missionary activity in both China and India and the dismay of these evangelists in attempting to convert and shepherd a drug-addled and despondent flock.’
    • ‘The evangelist even preached a sermon in which he encouraged believers to ‘gain all you can; save all you can; give all you can.’’
    • ‘The indictment claims that the television evangelist failed to report more than $550,000 in income over three years, beginning in 1998.’
    • ‘For a week in June each year, a team of evangelists and volunteers preach in London locations like Speakers' Corner, Covent Garden and Leicester Square.’
    • ‘A distinction can be drawn between the quiet sharing of one's faith as an evangelist and the aggressive outreach through proselytizing by adherents of some more fundamental faiths.’
    • ‘‘Non-believers’ and evangelists, preaching a different form of Christianity from the Orthodox religion that saturates Georgia, have been attacked with clubs.’
    • ‘For them, the early church, and the evangelists in particular, were far more interested in theology than in history and so created sayings and stories to meet the needs of the later church.’
    • ‘We are just a lone group of evangelists trying to restore faith and heartfelt belief in the world’
    • ‘If an evangelist should preach the gospel lacking in the affectionate qualities and energies generated by those truths, he has in reality States and Canada.’
    • ‘Wesley was blessed with a living experience of Christ and from the time of his conversion became an earnest evangelist who spent the rest of his long life preaching the gospel.’
    preacher, missionary, gospeller, proselytizer, converter, crusader, propagandist, campaigner, televangelist
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    1. 1.1 A layperson engaged in Christian missionary work.
      • ‘These were times of mass evangelism, abundant Bible and tract distribution, and near euphoria on the part of preachers, teachers, and evangelists.’
      • ‘The Soviet Union was inundated with foreign evangelists and missionaries commanding technological resources unimaginable to a church just emerging from captivity.’
      • ‘And then there are 144,000 Jewish witnesses that are evangelists, much like the apostle Paul in the first century.’
      • ‘They were tradesmen rather than evangelists and did a lot of building and helped the locals with farming and building techniques.’
      • ‘He was an evangelist, he was a missionary who was serving his empire and trying to solve what he saw as a dreadful problem.’
      • ‘This book is not a reflection of the English Reformation as a whole; there are no evangelists in Morebath.’
      • ‘But when you try to engage these evangelists in a dialogue about evidence, you suddenly realise you are missing the point.’
      • ‘A current series of articles in the Fort Worth Star Telegram calls into question the business practices and ethics of a local evangelist.’
      • ‘Meet the lay evangelists from the Apostles of Jesus congregation.’
      • ‘From 1872 the mission made increasing use of Chinese Christians as evangelists.’
      • ‘Not all were deserters; some had grown into apostles and evangelists in their own right and had left to do what God had given them to do.’
      • ‘Missionaries and evangelists from the south have always influenced Baptists.’
      • ‘Some are Sunday School teachers, evangelists, pastors, soul-winners song leaders and many other things the church needs.’
      • ‘Many of the financial resources were devoted to reconstruction instead of being given to evangelists or missionaries.’
      • ‘Bourton-on-the-Water parish council has been asked to banish a local evangelist with a loud voice from the village green on Sundays.’
      • ‘The ministry of these 3,000 visiting evangelists will be organised by the various churches and mission agencies sending them.’
      • ‘The missionary evangelists blessed many wells and encouraged Christian practices of prayer, fasting and barefooted processions of mortification.’
      • ‘In the first Labour Group I had invited the chair to get everyone to introduce themselves because there were a few unfamiliar faces among the new intake of fresh keen young evangelists with a mission to change Lambeth.’
      • ‘At least some members of the evangelist's communities have parted company painfully with local synagogues.’
      • ‘They were evangelists, missionaries and itinerant ministers living in an unholy era of subjugation, poverty and the dark brutal forces of the slaveocracy.’
      missionary, evangelical, proselytizer, spreader of the faith, spreader of the word, preacher, teacher
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    2. 1.2 A zealous advocate of something.
      ‘he is an evangelist of junk bonds’
      • ‘Now a high school in Tuscon is abandoning textbooks entirely, at the urging of the school district's technology evangelist, who appears to have caught the religion big time.’
      • ‘He now runs the Computing Division at their Charlottesville HQ and acts as the local Linux evangelist, webmaster, security guy, backup system administrator and more.’
      • ‘New Economy evangelists believe that a balance sheet reflects only a single moment in time and so cannot tell the whole story of a company's fortunes and true value and real potential.’
      • ‘In technology, evangelists illustrate innovations by promoting an idea that will catch the popular imagination, but insiders typically know that it will be something different that acts as an adoption catalyst.’
      • ‘This is an area both WiFi advocates and 3G evangelists both want to ignore.’
      • ‘It's almost beyond belief that for some technology evangelists, the health of a society can be measured by the fact that the routers are humming and the packets are flying.’
      • ‘Historicism of this kind would make a Marxist proud, and is perhaps why so many former Trots become evangelists of Technology and Globalization: the certainty and simplicity of telelogical narratives hold a strong appeal.’
      • ‘Identify and reward champions, evangelists, and successful practitioners of the e-world who assist others, particularly the disadvantaged and the SME sector.’
      • ‘For now, technology evangelists trust ‘more technology’ to supply the answers to the awkward questions.’
      • ‘He is a free market evangelist in the most extreme sense and yet this liberal Democrat thought he was talking sense.’
      • ‘In the last month, even the most utopian of Californian technology evangelists have begun to realize that the ugly reality behind the economics can't be wished away.’
      • ‘At present, the breadth and scope of content accessible via the Internet presents a different kind of choice to the one technology evangelists imagine.’
      • ‘It is doubtful that the knowledge revolution will let developing countries leapfrog to higher levels of development, as many technologists and Internet evangelists assert.’
      • ‘It was lost many years ago, by bean counters and technology evangelists anxious to see ROI.’
      • ‘Despite the evidence of experience, progress has had many evangelists over the past two hundred years.’
      • ‘The evangelists for privatisation were really the naughty think tanks - the IEA, Adam Smith Institute and Centre for Policy Studies.’
      • ‘Paul serves as the company's technology evangelist, speaking on the technical issues surrounding business integration across and inside enterprises.’
      • ‘He was an evangelist for modernisation, and if that meant a bit of manipulation here and there, no one could say that it wasn't in a higher purpose.’
      • ‘He is that rare creature, a charismatic accountant, valued as a corporate adviser and driven deal-maker, with specialism in private finance of public services and an evangelist for growing businesses.’
      • ‘He derided net evangelists who believed that the answer was ‘let's come up with new ways of talking!’’
      advocate, champion, supporter, promoter, proponent, exponent, campaigner, crusader, publicist, apostle, proselytizer, indoctrinator
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  • 2The writer of one of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John)

    ‘St. John the Evangelist’
    • ‘The first part of this paper should close with the due reference to Mary, mother of Jesus, by the evangelists Luke and John.’
    • ‘Mr Brett said he was upset with the damage to the west window, which depicts the life of St John the evangelist, because it was one of his favourites.’
    • ‘And Glasgow artist Nichol Wheatley has also recreated four paintings of the evangelists on the impressive dome, using the single surviving black and white picture of the original design from 1927.’
    • ‘I submit that it is possible that one or more of the evangelists interpreted Pilate in a positive way.’
    • ‘Under the canopies on the one side are figures of the four great prophets, and on the other side figures of the four evangelists.’
    • ‘Other recurrent characters are the four old men, collectively called Mamalujo and modelled on the four evangelists and also an apostolic group of twelve who feature as clients in the pub, or members of a jury.’
    • ‘Jesus is the word of God, according to John the evangelist in the prologue.’
    • ‘On this fourth and final Sunday of waiting, Matthew is the only evangelist to tell Joseph's side of the story of Jesus' birth, emphasizing his role as devout Jew and adoptive father.’
    • ‘Interestingly, in Mark's gospel the evangelist mentions scribes 19 times.’
    • ‘Indeed, one remarkable window portrays the four evangelists on the shoulders of the great prophets.’
    • ‘Here he sketches the main interests that dominate the evangelists' use of parables.’
    • ‘None of the four evangelists mentions any sort of internal division during the Sanhedrin trial.’
    • ‘It is important to remember that the gospel story, both as the evangelist relayed it and as we repeat it today, is told from the perspective of resurrection faith.’
    • ‘Under the main dome, for example, there are four evangelists in the spandrels.’
    • ‘Does the fourth evangelist know Mark, and perhaps Luke, and use them and revise them very freely and extensively?’
    • ‘In the book of Revelation, the evangelist, John, has a vision of a whore sitting on many waters.’
    • ‘Mark has meditated on John's execution in ways that the other evangelists do not.’


Middle English (in evangelist (sense 2)): from Old French évangéliste, via ecclesiastical Latin from ecclesiastical Greek euangelistēs, from euangelizesthai ‘evangelize’.