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 Despite its mention of jihad, and its suggestion of a broader conspiracy, its most detailed section focusses on an employment dispute at a primary school, among four teaching assistants and a principal. Sarah Larson, The New Yorker, 20 Mar. 2022 Where the Kandahar faction began as an insular, rural force, primarily concerned with ruling its home turf, the Haqqanis were interested in global jihad. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, 21 Feb. 2022 Not only did the attacks fail to damage the United States and its allies in any fundamental way, the targets of their jihad seemed as strong as ever. Kevin O’kelly, The Christian Science Monitor, 25 Feb. 2022 For those of us who, eight years before 9/11, started battling against the jihad in our earnest but inadequate way, there is no avoiding a profound sense of failure. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, 11 Sep. 2021 But if the United States were seeking a safe haven from which to run weapons and men run by a group ideologically-disposed to support a jihad to liberate their co-religionists, Afghanistan has equally-obvious appeal. Noah Millman, The Week, 17 Aug. 2021 Some, however, said teachers often discussed jihad openly and encouraged students to join Afghanistan’s insurgency. New York Times, 25 Nov. 2021 Filling the void were Islamic schools known as madrassas that shaped the minds of future young Taliban fighters, their learning and their childhoods inevitably cut short by the lure of jihad, or holy war. Washington Post, 12 Nov. 2021 But Osadzinski’s attorneys painted him as desperately naive, peppering his online chats with emojis, using stencils and fabric to make his own ISIS flag, even printing out jihad posters at the campus library. Jason Meisner, chicagotribune.com, 19 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of jihad

1837, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for jihad

Arabic jihād

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Last Updated

24 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Jihad.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jihad. Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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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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