holy

adjective

ho·​ly ˈhō-lē How to pronounce holy (audio)
holier; holiest
1
: exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness
2
: divine
for the Lord our God is holyPsalms 99:9 (King James Version)
3
: devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity
a holy temple
holy prophets
4
a
: having a divine quality
holy love
b
: venerated as or as if sacred
holy scripture
a holy relic
5
used as an intensive
this is a holy mess
he was a holy terror when he drankThomas Wolfe
often used in combination as a mild oath
holy smoke
holily adverb

Examples of holy in a Sentence

a holy relic worn by one of the saints the holy monk spent many hours on his knees in prayer
Recent Examples on the Web The bronze 28-foot statue is just one spiritual stop of the park's seven holy shrines. Amelia Benavides-Colón, Detroit Free Press, 13 May 2024 Whoopi Goldberg's holy mission to the Vatican may have rounded out the cast for her long-gestating Sister Act 3 movie. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, 9 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for holy 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'holy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, from Old English hālig; akin to Old English hāl whole — more at whole

First Known Use

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

Time Traveler
The first known use of holy was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near holy

Cite this Entry

“Holy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/holy. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

holy

adjective
ho·​ly ˈhō-lē How to pronounce holy (audio)
holier; holiest
1
: worthy of complete devotion and trust
2
: divine
3
: set apart to the service of God or a god : sacred
4
: respected as sacred
5
: complete, utter
he is a holy terror
used in combination as a mild oath
holy cow

More from Merriam-Webster on holy

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