holy

adjective
ho·​ly | \ ˈhō-lē How to pronounce holy (audio) \
holier; holiest

Definition of holy

1 : exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness
2 : divine for the Lord our God is holy — Psalms 99:9 (King James Version)
3 : devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity a holy temple holy prophets
4a : having a divine quality holy love
b : venerated as or as if sacred holy scripture a holy relic
5 used as an intensive this is a holy messhe was a holy terror when he drank— Thomas Wolfe often used in combination as a mild oath holy smoke

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Other Words from holy

holily \ ˈhō-​lə-​lē How to pronounce holy (audio) \ adverb

Examples of holy in a Sentence

a holy relic worn by one of the saints the holy monk spent many hours on his knees in prayer
Recent Examples on the Web The Syrian government reports that ISIS militants have destroyed two Muslim holy sites in Palmyra. CNN, 19 Aug. 2021 The children -- cousins, siblings, the neighbor's kids -- played as the adults prepared to break their daylong fast in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Arkansas Online, 24 July 2021 The fighting began after Israeli police raided Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month. NBC News, 16 June 2021 Palestinian protesters repeatedly clashed with Israeli police over restrictions on public gatherings during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in April and May. Time, 16 June 2021 Palestinian protesters repeatedly clashed with Israeli police over restrictions on public gatherings during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in April and May. Areej Hazboun, Star Tribune, 15 June 2021 Here is a look at Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, 15 June 2021 The police had kept the plaza off limits to Palestinians for much of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan — a decision that helped exacerbate the tensions in the city that formed the backdrop to the Gaza war. New York Times, 15 June 2021 Palestinian protesters repeatedly clashed with Israeli police over restrictions on public gatherings during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in April and May. Ilan Ben Zion, chicagotribune.com, 15 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'holy.' 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 holy

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

History and Etymology for holy

Middle English, from Old English hālig; akin to Old English hāl whole — more at whole

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Time Traveler for holy

Time Traveler

The first known use of holy was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near holy

holus-bolus

holy

holy ark

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Last Updated

20 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Holy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/holy. Accessed 21 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for holy

holy

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of holy

: connected to a god or a religion
: religious and morally good
used in phrases that show surprise or excitement

holy

adjective
ho·​ly | \ ˈhō-lē How to pronounce holy (audio) \
holier; holiest

Kids Definition of holy

1 : set apart for the service of God or of a divine being : sacred a holy temple
2 : being a deity the holy Lord God
3 used in exclamations to indicate surprise or excitement Holy mackerel! You won!

More from Merriam-Webster on holy

Nglish: Translation of holy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of holy for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about holy

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