un·​ho·​ly | \ ˌən-ˈhō-lē How to pronounce unholy (audio) \

Definition of unholy

1 : showing disregard for what is holy : wicked
2 : deserving of censure an unholy alliance
3 : very unpleasant : god-awful an unholy mess

Other Words from unholy

unholiness noun

Examples of unholy in a Sentence

Our finances were an unholy mess. They have spent an unholy amount of money on the project.
Recent Examples on the Web After feeling my stomach plunge when hearing the unholy sound of a black hole for the first time, an earthbound brass band march can’t help but sound like it’s stopping short of the goal. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 20 Sep. 2022 In the world of audiophiles — where provenance is everything and the quest is to get as close to the sound of an album’s original recording as possible — digital is considered almost unholy. Geoff Edgers, Washington Post, 5 Aug. 2022 Dancing is considered too unholy to perform in a church or as part of worship, so, according to tradition, as long as the feet never cross each other and aren't picked too high off the ground then a shout technically never becomes a dance. Andrew Alexander, ajc, 14 Feb. 2013 Stage sets for their live shows are designed like an unholy church. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, 1 Sep. 2022 Not exactly the appropriate soundtrack for acting on my unholy desires. New York Times, 5 Aug. 2022 America had no defense against the novel threat presented by the unholy alliance between Trump and the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell. Ira Shapiro, The New Republic, 6 May 2022 The Fifth Star recalls the unholy bondage of African Americans prior to the abolishment of slavery in America. Essence, 11 Aug. 2022 Only the wind's unholy engine, its sharp shifts in all directions. Sandy Solomon, Scientific American, 20 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unholy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of unholy

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

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

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Last Updated

28 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Unholy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unholy. Accessed 30 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for unholy


un·​ho·​ly | \ ˌən-ˈhō-lē How to pronounce unholy (audio) \
unholier; unholiest

Kids Definition of unholy

1 : not holy : wicked
2 : ungodly sense 2 Stop that unholy racket!

More from Merriam-Webster on unholy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unholy

Nglish: Translation of unholy for Spanish Speakers


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