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

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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 But for now, its core incongruities are causing an unholy mess. David Meyer, Fortune, "Brexit has saddled its champions with an impossible dilemma," 5 Mar. 2021 What follows is a hundred-odd-page account, related in the first person by the man, detailing the unholy course of an affair that comes to seem emblematic of the times, yet psychologically timeless. Vivian Gornick, The New York Review of Books, "Sex, Noir & Isolation," 9 Mar. 2021 That pivotal year spotlighted Janet Jackson with the unholy alliance of Kid Rock, P. Diddy, Nelly and Justin Timberlake. Melissa Ruggieri, ajc, "Music Notes: from U2 to Lady Gaga, notable Super Bowl halftime performances linger," 3 Feb. 2021 A week before Christmas, Britain found itself in an unholy mess. Hasit Shah, Quartz, "The UK’s new coronavirus strain is already having a global impact," 21 Dec. 2020 In the latest episode, MSNBC anchor and NBC News Senior Business Correspondent Stephanie Ruhle discusses the unholy alliance threatening America's Covid-19 vaccine. NBC News, "President-elect Biden urges Americans to have hope amid Covid surge, Trump pardons Flynn and last minute Thanksgiving tips," 26 Nov. 2020 Nowhere is this unholy alliance more obvious than on the business page. James Mccarthy, National Review, "Why Do Business Reporters Hate Business?," 30 Nov. 2020 The first is the unholy mess created by the sudden introduction of mail-in voting in state after state. Allen C. Guelzo, WSJ, "This Election Was Full of Surprises," 6 Nov. 2020 The unholy trinity of buttery-crunchy topping, buttery-salty caramel sauce and buttery-spicy cinnamon graham crust does a lot to make up for looks if necessary. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "A pumpkin spice celebration for cheesecake lovers," 27 Oct. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of unholy

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

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Time Traveler for unholy

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for unholy

Last Updated

1 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unholy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unholy. Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for unholy



English Language Learners Definition of unholy

: not showing respect for a god or a religion : not holy
used to describe people or groups that are working together for a bad purpose
informal : shockingly or surprisingly bad, large, etc.


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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