ji·​had | \ ji-ˈhäd How to pronounce jihad (audio) , chiefly British -ˈhad \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of jihad

1 : a holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty also : a personal struggle in devotion to Islam especially involving spiritual discipline
2 : a crusade for a principle or belief

Examples of jihad in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Islamic State, in turn, has been able to broadcast the local militants’ attacks as proof that their global jihad is alive and well. New York Times, "In Bid to Boost Its Profile, ISIS Turns to Africa’s Militants," 7 Apr. 2021 House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, once a leader of the anti-Obamacare jihad, didn’t mention the program at all. Los Angeles Times, "Column: They may not admit it, but Republicans have accepted that Obamacare is here to stay," 17 Mar. 2021 There is no certainty to this outcome, though, and the jihad is clearly at odds with the views of most Americans. Jack Fowler, National Review, "The Two-Pronged Assault on American Democracy," 12 Mar. 2021 Molina then got to work, posting ISIS videos showing how to train with an AK-47 rifle and other propaganda on social media that offered justification for the 9/11 terrorist attacks and showed support for ISIS and violent jihad. Guillermo Contreras, San Antonio Express-News, "Near a hallowed site in Texas' fight for independence, a loner pledged support for ISIS," 12 Mar. 2021 Between 2012 and 2018 over 2,000 French citizens left to take part in jihad in Syria, and more than 250 people were killed in terrorist attacks in France. The Economist, "Emmanuel Macron unveils a controversial bill to fight Islamism," 9 Dec. 2020 Ivan converts to Islam, at first mostly just to fit in, but is quickly and forcibly recruited to engage in radical jihad. Justin Torres, New York Times, "2 Novels by ‘Alternative Nobel’ Winner Take On Power and Its Abuses," 5 May 2020 Mr Khamenei has reportedly sent orders to Iraqi militias to await his call for jihad before striking American forces, but the chain of command has been broken. The Economist, "After the assassination How Iran can respond to the killing of Qassem Suleimani," 9 Jan. 2020 Those were the exact words American terrorist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki used in a message posted in March 2010 in calling for jihad against the United States, suggesting the person posting the message was deeply familiar with al-Awlaki's propaganda. Nic Robertson And Paul Cruickshank, CNN, "Tweet purportedly from gunman in Pensacola Navy base shooting suggests al Qaeda inspiration," 7 Dec. 2019

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

1837, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for jihad

Arabic jihād

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Statistics for jihad

Last Updated

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Jihad.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jihad. Accessed 23 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for jihad



English Language Learners Definition of jihad

: a war fought by Muslims to defend or spread their beliefs

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More from Merriam-Webster on jihad

Nglish: Translation of jihad for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jihad for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about jihad

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