I'm looking for a word that is similar to patriotic but does not relate to one's country (or state).

For what it's worth, I'm specifically referring to "overly patriotic" in a negative sense, to describe someone who has a overly sentimental/cultural or otherwise less-than-rational attachment or devotion to something and makes it part of their very identity. A common example might be an extremely zealous football fan.

  • 1
    Blind loyalty . – KCH Apr 28 '14 at 16:25
  • or just loyalist – Xanne Aug 8 '19 at 8:54

When talking about ideology, the word zealot is commonly used to imply an obsessive (often negative) devotion.

It can be used for sports fanatics, although I wouldn't use it for something like ethnicity or nationality (which is more something you are than an idea/ideal you ascribe to).

And of course, the word fanatic also works in many cases.



From Google:

noun 1. a strong supporter of a party, cause, or person.

Also adjective; the abstract noun is partisanship.

This addresses the question in the title and first paragraph.



chauvinist: 2 : person with an undue partiality or attachment to a group or place to which he or she belongs or has belonged.

Consider also sectionalist.

sectionalist: person with excessive or narrow minded concern for local or regional interests as opposed to the interests of the whole.

"Sports teams develop a sense of sectionalism among US citizens."

  • I thought about it, but I understand that it us used for you own country, is it? – user66974 Apr 28 '14 at 4:58
  • 3
    My caution with "chauvinist" is that in modern English it is most often used in the context of "male chauvinist", and without another modifier to clarify your intent, that is the meaning most people would assume. – AmeliaBR Apr 28 '14 at 5:07
  • @AmeliaBR Thought it was more used that way back in the 80s. :-) – Elian Apr 28 '14 at 13:33
  • @Elian Well, I'm a child of the 80s so maybe it has stuck with me, while someone younger would not have the same association. But it's a worthy caution even if only a part of your audience would make that interpretation. – AmeliaBR Apr 28 '14 at 14:56
  • I thought the term Chauvinist specifically applied to nationalism (specifically French nationalism which the British despised) and all other meanings are secondary. – sas08 Aug 7 '19 at 16:23

two words with different gravity and meaning

*zealotry- Fanatical and uncompromising pursuit of religious, political, or other ideals.

*mania - An excessive enthusiasm or desire; obsession


I'd call this person a fanatic if you are looking for a derogatory expression to patriotic.


Try jingoistic. It refers to just this phenomena. From wikipedia, "refers to excessive bias in judging one's own country as superior to others—an extreme type of nationalism."


  • 1
    Good example, and can be applied to many things other than national patriotism -- you can be jingoistic about the company where you work or the sports team you support, and written material/mass media can be jingoistic as well as an individual. When describing a person, I feel it in particular implies that the person is quite vocal about his or her support, with a tendency to repeat slogans and stock phrases -- but that usually goes along with the description of a "less-than-rational attachment or devotion". – AmeliaBR Apr 28 '14 at 15:04


having or based on the idea that your own group or culture is better or more important than others

Also supremacist fits.

One who believes that a certain group is or should be supreme.

Supremacism is the belief that a particular race, species, ethnic group, religion, gender, sexual orientation, class, belief system or culture is superior to others and entitles those who identify with it to dominate, control or rule those who do not.

  • Would you describe a fervent football team supporter as being a supremacist? – Mari-Lou A Apr 28 '14 at 6:16
  • @Mari-Lou A: Maybe in extreme cases but supremacist is used related to race mainly. Also I think, OP's definition and the example do not quite fit. I focuses on the definition. – 0.. Apr 28 '14 at 14:52

Canon 7 of the old American Bar Association's ABA Model Code of Professional Responsibility (adopted in 1969, and amended through August 1980), reads as follows:

Canon 7. A Lawyer Should Represent a Client Zealously Within the Bounds of the Law

Ethical Consideration 7-39 sums up the nature of this obligatory zealousness:

In the final analysis, proper functioning of the adversary system depends upon cooperation between lawyers and tribunals in utilizing procedures which will preserve the impartiality of tribunals and make their decisional processes prompt and just, without impinging upon the obligation of lawyers to represent their clients zealously within the framework of the law.

From this example, we may infer that zeal, in and of itself, is not necessarily excessive or unacceptable. An adjective that describes inappropriate devotion to an interest or cause more accurately than zealous, it seems to me, is overzealous. I agree with the gist of AmeliaBR's answer that a good descriptive adjective to use in a religious or quasi-religious context is fanatical. A somewhat vaguer adjective that writers often use to signify beyond-the-pale enthusiasm or ardor for a political idea or program (which may or may not involve patriotism) is extremist.

In my view, both jingoistic and chauvinistic are too closely associated with forms of patriotism gone wrong to qualify as "not relate[d] to one's country (or state)."

  • Thank you for this clarification. It is in the US where having zeal alone is often used to condemn someone, usually by other zealots no less. – Wes Modes Apr 28 '14 at 22:38

You mention the word 'fan' - and 'fanatic' has come up in other answers, too - and 'fanboy'/'fangirl' would work well in many contexts. Obviously it wouldn't work everywhere - I can't see it being used with political parties, say. But its usage is quite broad - and ever broadening. It works well, obviously, for things like comics, technology, video games and other stereotypically 'geeky' subjects. Things which have cult followings are good, too. But it's also being increasingly used for fanatical interest in bands, TV series, book series and so on.

'Fanboy'/'fangirl' is, in my experience, almost exclusively used negatively by people who aren't fans of the thing in question. It is used to imply that a person's interest in the subject/product/series/etc. is excessive and unreasonable, and also that their opinions (and particularly defences) of it are ludicrously unobjective and disconnected from reality. It also implies that the person is likely to be difficult to argue with on the subject. However, it may be worn as a badge of honour - and taken up with pride - by the fan themselves.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.