Definition of puritanical in US English:



  • Practicing or affecting strict religious or moral behavior.

    • ‘We're getting pretty annoyed by this puritanical attitude that sexuality is evil.’
    • ‘From the start, the concept of parading women on stage - fully clothed or not - has always been a contentious issue, making Miss World a prime target for negative media attention and the scorn of puritanical groups.’
    • ‘It's about time we abandoned this puritanical attitude toward sex.’
    • ‘My gut is that tough-on-crime conservatives would rather see their puritanical views on drugs written into the Constitution.’
    • ‘Sallinen was born at Narmes, the son of a tailor who belonged to the puritanical religious sect of the Hihhulit.’
    • ‘But beyond puritanical squeamishness - and the native instinct of all bureaucracies to create policies upon policies - employers have good reason to outlaw porn.’
    • ‘The new building steers the straits between meticulous restoration and furious demolition, refusing a puritanical stance towards the glass-cased bibelot.’
    • ‘The hero, as such, played by Edward Woodward, is a rather prissy, puritanical character, and a devout Christian.’
    • ‘They think our attempts to legislate morality are barbaric, puritanical and doomed to failure.’
    • ‘It is disheartening to realize, nearly twenty years later, that this is still the case, and that what passes as avant-garde criticism today is even more puritanical than what comes out of the academic mainstream.’
    • ‘This theory makes perfect sense and plays to our puritanical prejudice that fat, fast food and television are innately damaging to our humanity.’
    • ‘They read a caution against supervisor-employee relationships as a puritanical ban on interoffice romance, while a call to report improper behavior was taken as an invitation to rat on co-workers.’
    • ‘Is the baby boomer electorate so puritanical that they would punish progressive politicians who voiced support for liberalizing or legalizing intoxicants, or simply marijuana?’
    • ‘Africans have quite our prim, puritanical attitude towards extra - marital sex.’
    • ‘That puritanical attitude often carries with it a lot of hypocrisy.’
    • ‘With untold billions illegally wagered on sport in the US, one might also think that the puritanical aversion that the nation feels towards the marriage of sport and wagering would dissipate.’
    • ‘Once again the men broke all the rules with no consequences, while the women were held to puritanical, rigid standards and expectations, all the while being subjected to harassment and resentment.’
    • ‘Temperance was inspired by evangelical Christianity and puritanical moralism.’
    • ‘Working among the Calvinist peasantry in Staphorst, a village near Amsterdam, Sluyters adopted a sombre Expressionist style to depict the puritanical austerity of their lives.’
    • ‘Compare that to the United States with our puritanical attitudes toward sex and federal funding for abstinence-only education.’
    • ‘On the other hand, the Wahhabi movement in Arabia in the eighteenth century represents both a strict, puritanical reading of the works, and a rejection of the itjihad tradition, considered to be responsible for internal decay.’
    • ‘Arensberg was not the only visitor to be perplexed by a country where, he noted, ‘a puritanical morality’ coexisted with ‘the hilarity of the race meeting.’’
    • ‘Throw in a whiff of elitism, and you've got the perfect puritanical, messianic jerk.’
    • ‘Crowley was raised a member of the Plymouth Brethren and his over-reaction to that puritanical brand of religion is fairly evident throughout his work, hence ‘The Great Beast’.’
    • ‘Despite their antagonism towards religion and ‘bourgeois morality’, the communists had a puritanical attitude to sex.’
    • ‘I think she got scared about these - she would say to me that there was a puritanical streak in America that can become so aggressive, and she always feared that, to come back.’
    • ‘Flimsy storylines concentrate on chaste boy-girl relationships, with hip-grinding dance numbers providing enough sex to titillate the audience without upsetting India's puritanical film censors.’
    • ‘You have been intimidated by their moralising self-righteousness, brow-beaten by their puritanical spartanism, seduced by their appointment-diary ethics.’
    • ‘This and other writings inspired a puritanical movement of religious devotion that came to be known as Jansenism.’
    • ‘It just shows that those endless puritanical bromides about the perils of fixating on individual designers (in magazine profiles and monographs) are wasted breath.’
    • ‘Scott called himself an atheist, but he believed in a type of karma, leftover, puritanical guilt from a strict, Protestant upbringing.’
    • ‘It preserved those men who were too drunk or too fearful or too puritanical or too homely or too traditional or too stiffly macho to try out any of those fun new gadgets or practices.’
    • ‘The very English and very puritanical Founding Fathers proposed the principles of religious liberty as a mechanism to protect religion from the pollution of the state.’
    • ‘Members tend to be puritanical in moral teachings and to disapprove of Sufism.’
    • ‘Kirk paints a vivid, nuanced, and empathic portrait of a tightly knit Danish fishing community whose members belong to the Inner Mission, a puritanical movement within the Church of Denmark.’
    • ‘I'm sure there are those down here who just see me as a Scot with a Calvinist streak and a puritanical attitude.’
    • ‘By time, this puritanical attitude has fortunately changed and the opera is now unanimously regarded as a total masterpiece.’
    • ‘The other great influence on Lane's life was his mother's puritanical religious convictions.’
    • ‘In this respect, it is fair to say that just as Epicurus was hardly epicurean, Protestants and Puritans were much less puritanical than is often supposed.’
    • ‘‘Their willingness to loosen puritanical laws on dress and public behavior have created the illusion of freedom,’ he says.’
    moralistic, pietistic, strait-laced, tight-laced, stuffy, starchy, prissy, prudish, puritan, prim, priggish, victorian, schoolmarmish, schoolmistressy, old-maidish, narrow-minded, censorious, sententious
    View synonyms