Definition of holy adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈhəʊli//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈhoʊli//
    (holier, holiest) Moral
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  1. 1  [usually before noun] connected with God or a particular religion the Holy Bible/Scriptures holy ground a holy war (= one fought to defend the beliefs of a particular religion) the holy city of Mecca Islam’s holiest shrine opposite unholy see also holy orders
  2. 2  good in a moral and religious way a holy life/man opposite unholy See related entries: Moral
  3. 3[only before noun] (informal) used to emphasize that you are surprised, afraid, etc. Holy cow! What was that?
  4. see also holier-than-thou, holiness
    Word OriginOld English hālig, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German heilig, also to whole.Extra examples For a believer, these words have an almost holy significance. The place is considered holy by the people who live there. a very holy man He tries to live a holy life. Islam’s holiest shrine They are good and holy people. a holy war the Holy Bible/​Scriptures
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: holy