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.
(lowercase) a person who is strict in moral or religious matters, often excessively so.
of or relating to the Puritans.
(lowercase) of, relating to, or characteristic of a moral puritan; .
Contemporary Examples

At least in premodern Europe and Puritan North America, witch-hunting follows certain patterns.
Will Saudi Arabia Execute Guest Workers for ‘Witchcraft’? Michael Schulson March 28, 2014

Like the Puritan ancestors he never succeeded in escaping, he found fault with just about everything, especially himself.
The Man Who Knew Russia Best: George Kennan’s Revealing Diaries James A. Warren March 9, 2014

The mindsets of both Cavalier and Puritan took root in the New World, and the experiment launched in 1776 continues.
America’s Long-Simmering, Semi-Civil Civil War Lloyd Green October 1, 2013

There has been little intellectual advance since Oliver Cromwell’s Puritan republic back in the 1650s.
Obama for Queen Geoffrey Robertson April 25, 2011

Indeed, Puritan Japan is decades behind the Puritan United States when it comes to sex.
Japan’s Hypocritical Vagiphobia Lizzie Crocker July 15, 2014

Historical Examples

A Puritan would have found it savory, even where it was unsound.
Studies of Christianity James Martineau

Angelo, the would-be Puritan ruler, was a “false seemer,” Malvolio was a “chough.”
The Man Shakespeare Frank Harris

His Puritan habits had been, in fact, very curious to the parents.
Villa Elsa Stuart Henry

Of all that is noble and true in the Puritan character we are sincere admirers.
The Works of Whittier, Volume VII (of VII) John Greenleaf Whittier

In this off-hand manner of constituting a Parliament, we detect the mingled daring of the Puritan and the Soldier.
Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 378, April, 1847 Various

a person who adheres to strict moral or religious principles, esp one opposed to luxury and sensual enjoyment
characteristic of a puritan
any of the more extreme English Protestants, most of whom were Calvinists, who wished to purify the Church of England of most of its ceremony and other aspects that they deemed to be Catholic
of, characteristic of, or relating to the Puritans

1560s, “opponent of Anglican hierarchy,” later applied opprobriously to “person in Church of England who seeks further reformation” (1570s), probably from purity. Largely historical from 19c. in literal sense. After c.1590s, applied to anyone deemed overly strict in matters of religion and morals.

What [William] Perkins, and the whole Puritan movement after him, sought was to replace the personal pride of birth and status with the professional’s or craftsman’s pride of doing one’s best in one’s particular calling. The good Christian society needs the best of kings, magistrates, and citizens. Perkins most emphasized the work ethic from Genesis: “In the swaete of thy browe shalt thou eate thy breade.” [E. Digby Baltzell, “Puritan Boston and Quaker Philadelphia,” 1979]

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