holocaust

noun
ho·lo·caust | \ˈhō-lə-ˌkȯst, ˈhä- also -ˌkäst or ˈhȯ-lə-kȯst\

Definition of holocaust 

1 : a sacrifice (see sacrifice entry 1 sense 2) consumed by fire

2 : a thorough destruction involving extensive loss of life especially through fire a nuclear holocaust

3a usually the Holocaust : the mass slaughter of European civilians and especially Jews by the Nazis during World War II Several members of her family died in the Holocaust. a Holocaust survivor

b : a mass slaughter of people especially : genocide a holocaust in Rwanda

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Examples of holocaust in a Sentence

The museum is devoted to the Holocaust. There were fears of a nuclear holocaust.

Recent Examples on the Web

According to holocaust historian Eric Saul, about 20 scouts of the 522nd Field Artillery entered Dachau’s ‘Camp X’ finding the crematoria and gas chambers. Johnny Miller, San Francisco Chronicle, "Survivors thank ‘strange’ liberators," 18 Apr. 2018 In the book, the protagonist — a black female — wakes up 250 years after a nuclear holocaust, to find that humans have been rescued by aliens with three genders. Billy Perrigo, Time, "Octavia E. Butler, Who Brought Diversity to the World of Science Fiction, Honored With Google Doodle," 22 June 2018 As the son of a Polish holocaust survivor, the images and sounds of this family separation policy is heart wrenching. Monique Judge, The Root, "Is Michael Cohen About to Flip on Trump?," 20 June 2018 So, yeah, one of the North Korean team members led the world to a nuclear holocaust [but] that’s a truly impactful moment for that kid. Mark Harris, Ars Technica, "First space, then auto—now Elon Musk quietly tinkers with education," 25 June 2018 To be sure, the current U.S. moral crisis is no holocaust and IBM’s deep involvement in customizing its punch card technology for the Nazis stands out like a red flag compared to a simple government cloud services contract. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Data Sheet—Tech Industry Condemns Migrant Child Separation Policy. But What Will They Actually Do About It?," 20 June 2018 Jaws is employed by madman Karl Stromberg (Curd Jurgens), who tries to provoke a nuclear holocaust and then create a civilization under the sea. Charles Stockdale And John Harrington, USA TODAY, "Every James Bond film ranked from worst to best," 18 June 2018 Jones is a member of the American Nazi Party, a holocaust denier and is running on a platform to keep Chicago’s third district neighborhoods 90% white. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "raceAhead: White Supremacist Candidates, Puerto Rico Trails in the Ratings and Five Breaking News Haikus," 1 June 2018 Their founder, Leah Greenblum’s grandmother, a holocaust survivor, came to America following the war. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Inside the Modern-Day Underground Railroad for Abortions," 31 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'holocaust.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of holocaust

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for holocaust

Middle English, from Late Latin holocaustum, from Greek holokauston, from neuter of holokaustos burnt whole, from hol- + kaustos burnt, from kaiein to burn — more at caustic

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Statistics for holocaust

Last Updated

31 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for holocaust

The first known use of holocaust was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for holocaust

holocaust

noun

English Language Learners Definition of holocaust

the Holocaust : the killing of millions of Jews and other people by the Nazis during World War II

: an event or situation in which many people are killed and many things are destroyed especially by fire

holocaust

noun
ho·lo·caust | \ˈhä-lə-ˌkȯst, ˈhō-lə-\

Kids Definition of holocaust

1 : a complete destruction especially by fire

2 often capitalized : the killing of civilians and especially Jews by the Nazis during World War II

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