adjective ho·ly \ˈhō-lē\

: connected to a god or a religion

: religious and morally good

—used in phrases that show surprise or excitement


Full Definition of HOLY

:  exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness
:  divine <for the Lord our God is holy — Psalms 99:9(Authorized Version)>
:  devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity <a holy temple> <holy prophets>
a :  having a divine quality <holy love>
b :  venerated as or as if sacred <holy scripture> <a holy relic>
—used as an intensive <this is a holy mess> <he was a holy terror when he drank — Thomas Wolfe> ; often used in combination as a mild oath <holy smoke>
ho·li·ly \-lə-lē\ adverb

Examples of HOLY

  1. a holy relic worn by one of the saints
  2. <the holy monk spent many hours on his knees in prayer>

Origin of HOLY

Middle English, from Old English hālig; akin to Old English hāl whole — more at whole
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Christian Religious Terms

Pentateuch, blasphemy, curate, doxology, eremite, iconoclasm, liturgy, orison, pneuma, reliquary

Rhymes with HOLY


Next Word in the Dictionary: holy arkPrevious Word in the Dictionary: holus–bolusAll Words Near: holy
May 28, 2015
fictioneer Hear it
someone who writes fiction
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears