holiness

1 of 2

noun

ho·​li·​ness ˈhō-lē-nəs How to pronounce holiness (audio)
1
: the quality or state of being holy
used as a title for various high religious dignitaries
His Holiness the Pope
2

holiness

2 of 2

adjective

often capitalized
: emphasizing the doctrine of the second blessing
specifically : of or relating to a perfectionist movement arising in U.S. Protestantism in the late 19th century

Examples of holiness in a Sentence

Noun the holiness of this sacred place known throughout the world for his holiness, the prophet was visited daily by hundreds of pilgrims
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Instead of a display of holiness, wearing ashes means something else entirely. Christine Rousselle, Fox News, 14 Feb. 2024 White In the Bible, white refers to purity, light, and holiness associated with the Christmas holiday. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, 5 Nov. 2023 Monica had spoken earlier of the holiness of mountains in Andean culture. Aatish Taseer, New York Times, 9 Nov. 2023 His silence implied that all partake of some holiness, Except perhaps in ways too obvious to mention, Greg and Fran, dead and living. John Jeremiah Sullivan, Harper's Magazine, 14 Aug. 2023 The rigorous process the Catholic Church enforces toward canonization, which examines the life and holiness of a candidate, can take years or even centuries. Alejandra Molina, Los Angeles Times, 12 July 2023 Lasting symbols Centuries of theological and artistic reflection have shaped today’s Catholic approach to Holy Week specifically, and to the concept of holiness in general. Joanne M. Pierce, The Conversation, 31 Mar. 2023 The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph said it's being investigated as a possible case of incorruptibility, which under Catholic tradition indicates a divine intervention that stops or slows decomposition as a sign of holiness. Aliza Chasan, CBS News, 29 May 2023 In Edinburgh and other Scottish cities, the purges became part of a broader power struggle between the Catholic Church and Protestant reformers inspired by Martin Luther and John Calvin, with innocent women targeted as a way of demonstrating the holiness of their cause. James Hookway, WSJ, 1 Jan. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'holiness.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1888, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of holiness was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near holiness

Cite this Entry

“Holiness.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/holiness. Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

holiness

noun
ho·​li·​ness
ˈhō-lē-nəs
1
: the quality or state of being holy
2
capitalized
used as a title for various high religious officials
His Holiness the Pope

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