from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Great destruction resulting in the extensive loss of life, especially by fire.
- n. The genocide of European Jews and others by the Nazis during World War II: "Israel emerged from the Holocaust and is defined in relation to that catastrophe” ( Emanuel Litvinoff).
- n. A massive slaughter: "an important document in the so-far sketchy annals of the Cambodian holocaust” ( Rod Nordland).
- n. A sacrificial offering that is consumed entirely by flames.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A sacrifice to a god that is completely burned to ashes.
- n. The annihilation or near-annihilation of a group of animals or people, whether by natural or deliberate agency.
- n. The state-sponsored mass murder of an ethnic group. In particular, the Holocaust (which see).
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A burnt sacrifice; an offering, the whole of which was consumed by fire, among the Jews and some pagan nations.
- n. Sacrifice or loss of many lives, as by the burning of a theater or a ship.
- n. The mass killing of millions of Jews by the Nazis during the period from 1933 to 1945 in Germany and German-occupied lands; usually referred to as The Holocaust. In Hebrew, the same event is referred to by the word Shoah.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A sacrifice or offering entirely consumed by fire, in use among the Jews and some pagan nations.
- n. Figuratively, a great slaughter or sacrifice of life, as by fire or other accident, or in battle.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an act of mass destruction and loss of life (especially in war or by fire)
- n. the mass murder of Jews under the German Nazi regime from 1941 until 1945
Middle English, burnt offering, from Old French holocauste, from Latin holocaustum, from Greek holokauston, from neuter of holokaustos, burnt whole : holo-, holo- + kaustos, burnt (from kaiein, to burn).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French holocauste, from Late Latin holocaustum, from the neuter form of Ancient Greek ὁλόκαυστος, from ὅλος (holos, "whole") + καύστος (kaustos, "burnt"), from καίω (kaiō, "I burn") (Wiktionary)