used to express surprise, amazement, or bewilderment
Nate Tyler was finishing off his salmon dinner at a restaurant in Sydney last spring when suddenly the lights went out. The eatery went dark, along with much of downtown, including the city's famous opera house. "I thought; 'Holy moly, this is gorgeous!' You could see stars in the sky," he said. "The restaurant used candles. It was atmospheric. The food tasted better."John M. Glionna
"… when I saw the way he handled the puck, like top guys in the NHL, I said, Holy moly, this guy is good."Michel Goulet
I really didn't believe I was having a baby until I felt his head crowning. And then, holy moly, there he was—a slippery, squalling little miracle lying in my arms.Shannon Brownlee

Examples of holy moly in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Tyler Hynes, Nikki DeLoach, Andrew Walker, Luke MacFarlane, Erin Cahill, Jonathan Bennett and so many others also appear in the gifts arriving from the festive networks Ho ho holy moly, the Christmas movie season is finally here. Breanne L. Heldman, Peoplemag, 19 Sep. 2023 Parachute Home Organic Soft Luxe Venice Set Earlier this summer, Parachute dropped its new Resort Collection—and holy moly, this bedding absolutely, 100 percent ticks all of those boxes for me. Sophie Dweck, Town & Country, 9 Sep. 2023 He's got — holy moly — amazing amount of qualities to him. Naledi Ushe, USA TODAY, 28 Mar. 2023 Simone shared another abs-bearing shot from her bach, and holy moly, someone ask this gal what her core routine is these days. Jacqueline Tempera, Women's Health, 3 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'holy moly.' 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

1892, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of holy moly was in 1892

Dictionary Entries Near holy moly

Cite this Entry

“Holy moly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

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