• Full of conviction, passion, or energy, usually toward a certain object
  • Fiery, radiant


Especially with the emergence of online communities of all kinds, it seems that everyone has something they are a really big fan of. Whether it's comic books, video games, anime, or whatever else, there are offerings to suit every taste, and that people can readily pour their heart and soul into. One of the greatest testaments to this, and among the best ways to enjoy one's respective fandom, is the convention scene, where ardent fans of all stripes gather together to celebrate.

Ardent is an adjective which describes someone or something as having a great dedication, zeal, or energy, usually in support of or toward something in particular. Most often, ardent is a quality used to characterize people: for instance, an ardent patron of the arts would be one who goes to lots of performances, and maybe even donates to arts organizations, while an ardent foodie usually scours online reviews for only the finest cuisine. However, things can also be ardent, particularly qualities or traits belonging to people. A donation by the patron above would demonstrate their ardent support of culture, while the foodie exerts ardent effort to scour a city for delectable dining. No matter what it describes, ardent shows a serious investment in something.

In its secondary sense, ardent can also illustrate something as fiery, searing, or illuminating. Most of the time, ardent in this sense is used in conjunction with a thing that is literally on fire or burning, such as a torch or a star, but anything that can abstractly or metaphorically be said to be burning is also a suitable candidate. For example, while the flames on a stove could be ardent, so could the passion of two lovers for one another. Whenever something burns strongly, in whatever respect, the fire is truly an ardent one.

Example: He is an ardent trekkie, and never misses a Star Trek convention.

Example: Her work ethic in school was so ardent that she was awarded valedictorian when she graduated.

Example: The comet gave off an ardent light as it passed close to the Earth, making it clearly visible to the naked eye.


The first use of the word ardent in English arose in the 1300s in the form of the word ardaunt, and initially in conjunction with distilled alcoholic drinks. It traces its lineage first back to the Anglo-Norman word ardent, the Old French word ardant, meaning "searing, zealous," and finally to the Latin word ardentem, meaning "ablaze, flaming, glowing." This latter term is derived from the Latin infinitive ardere, "to burn."

Derivative Words

Ardently: This adverb of ardent denotes when someone or something takes some action in an impassioned or spirited way, or in a glimmering or fiery manner.

Example: She cheered ardently as her team scored in the final seconds to secure their spot in the playoffs.

Example: The campfire once again burned ardently after more kindling was added.

Ardentness: This noun form embodies the state of enthusiasm for something, or the brilliance of a thing's glow or heat.

Example: His thoroughly decorated house unmistakably showed the ardentness of his holiday spirit.

Example: The ardentness emanating from the fireplace was just what the family needed to warm up on the frigid December night.

Ardor: (noun) As the root word for ardent, ardor captures the quality of enthusiasm or zeal for something. Unlike ardentness, though, it also bears the more specific connotation of a passionate and vibrant love, especially romance.

Example: Her ardor for uncovering the mysteries of the universe led her to become an astrophysicist.

Example: Their grandchildren admired their grandparents, whose ardor had not faded over the many decades of their marriage.

In Literature

From E.A. Bucchianeri's Brushstrokes of a Gadfly:

Falling in love is very real, but I used to shake my head when people talked about soul mates, poor deluded individuals grasping at some supernatural ideal not intended for mortals but sounded pretty in a poetry book. Then, we met, and everything changed, the cynic has become the converted, the sceptic, an ardent zealot.

Bucchianeri's protagonist relates her former doubt in the existence of soulmates until she met hers, converting her instantly from a firm doubter to a passionate, or ardent, believer. Cleverly, the author's choice of the word hints at the secondary meaning of ardent's root word, ardor: that of embodying an intense romantic love.


  • Ardent TV fans probably are down to watch their favorite show anytime.
  • An ardent supporter will argue a point passionately.


The term ardent spirits is used to refer to alcoholic beverages that result from the distillation process. The description of strong spirits as ardent actually stems from the fact that such concentrated alcohol was found to be literally flammable. Thus, the class of beverage's distinction as ardent derives from its secondary meaning of flaming or burning.


Passion, Fire

Bring out the linguist in you! What is your own interpretation of ardent. Did you use ardent in a game? Provide an example sentence or a literary quote.