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 Like the Castlevania series, the Berserk franchise is a dark fantasy inspired by medieval Europe filled with mercenaries and unholy creatures and is, to put it mildly, exceptionally violent. John Maher, Vulture, 4 June 2021 The Reverend Still took over the parish a decade ago and has successfully reinforced connections between the church and the village, including the possibly unholy figure on the hill. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 12 May 2021 The result would be massive radicalization among Israelis against their own government, dwarfing the unholy furies that led to Yitzhak Rabin's assassination in 1995. Bret Stephens New York Times, Star Tribune, 18 May 2021 And so goes the corruption of American values through an unholy special relationship. Mary Christine Bader, Star Tribune, 14 May 2021 Left behind after the Rapture, a young woman and her boyfriend set out to prevent the Antichrist from taking her as his unholy bride. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, 9 Apr. 2021 The blatant attempt to suppress voting rights is simply an unholy attack at the heart of our democracy. Peter Georgescu, Forbes, 19 Apr. 2021 The family moves into the manor where the last holy man disappeared, and dark secrets abound in this unholy place that begin to take hold of their daughter. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 16 Apr. 2021 But for now, its core incongruities are causing an unholy mess. David Meyer, Fortune, 5 Mar. 2021

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

12 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unholy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unholy. Accessed 22 Jun. 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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