ji·​had | \ji-ˈhäd, 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

In recent years, the Islamic State affiliate has recruited heavily from the region, arming Peul men in return for their participation in jihad. Eric Schmitt, BostonGlobe.com, "Niger ambush suspect may be in custody," 16 Apr. 2018 Regime propaganda presented the war as a test of national character through glorious jihad. Eliora Katz, WSJ, "Iranians Are Now Chanting ‘Death to Palestine’," 13 July 2018 Meanwhile, as many as 1,910 French nationals have gone to wage jihad in Iraq and Syria, according to the Soufan Center, which studies radicalization. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "Struggling to prevent terrorist attacks, France wants to ‘reform’ Islam," 17 Apr. 2018 With a stuttering economy and a reputation for fostering jihad against its neighbors, the troubled nation needs a dose of introspection. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "Will Imran Khan Turn Pakistan Into an Islamic Welfare State?," 12 July 2018 Plus, a pair of chilling domestic terror stories including a cross-country jihad. Fox News, "Ingraham: Our collegiate indoctrination factory," 7 Mar. 2018 Trump’s pick for secretary of state has, like Bolton, aligned himself with the counter-jihad without endorsing their most extreme ideas. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "How John Bolton and Mike Pompeo mainstreamed Islamophobia," 27 Mar. 2018 In the past few years the sparks of jihad have been struck in this tinderbox. The Economist, "Jihadists are trying to take over the Sahel," 12 July 2018 The Pentagon has carefully monitored the spread of radical Islamic jihad across Africa but insisted that American troops are there to train and team up with local forces, not necessarily to fight. New York Times, "1 U.S. Soldier Is Killed and 4 Are Wounded in Somalia Firefight," 8 June 2018

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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Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

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The first known use of jihad was in 1837

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English Language Learners Definition of jihad

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

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