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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Puritan


PU'RITAN, noun [from pure.] A dissenter from the church of England. The puritans were so called in derision, on account of their professing to follow the pure word of God, in opposition to all traditions and human constitutions.

Hume gives this name to three parties; the political puritans, who maintained the highest principles of civil liberty; the puritans in discipline, who were averse to the ceremonies and government of the episcopal church; and the doctrinal puritans, who rigidly defended the speculative system of the first reformers.

PU'RITAN, adjective Pertaining to the puritans, or dissenters from the church of England.