Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Great destruction resulting in the extensive loss of life, especially by fire.
  • noun The genocide of European Jews and other groups by the Nazis during World War II.
  • noun A massive slaughter.
  • noun A sacrificial offering that is consumed entirely by flames.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A sacrifice or offering entirely consumed by fire, in use among the Jews and some pagan nations.
  • noun Figuratively, a great slaughter or sacrifice of life, as by fire or other accident, or in battle.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A burnt sacrifice; an offering, the whole of which was consumed by fire, among the Jews and some pagan nations.
  • noun Sacrifice or loss of many lives, as by the burning of a theater or a ship.
  • noun 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 Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A sacrifice to a god that is completely burned to ashes.
  • noun The annihilation or near-annihilation of a group of animals or people, whether by natural or deliberate agency.
  • noun The state-sponsored mass murder of an ethnic group. In particular, the Holocaust (which see).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an act of mass destruction and loss of life (especially in war or by fire)
  • noun the mass murder of Jews under the German Nazi regime from 1941 until 1945

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[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).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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")

Examples

  • Many linguists believe that the word holocaust, which is a Greek word -- holo means all and caust meaning "to burn to ashes", was originally coined to refer to a criminal incident in ancient Yemen committed by Jews who burnt alive a large group of chained and handcuffed men, women and children for their adherence to teachings the Jesus Christ (PBUH).

    Judeopundit

  • Many linguists believe that the word holocaust, which is a Greek word -- holo means all and caust meaning "to burn to ashes", was originally coined to refer to a criminal incident in ancient Yemen committed by Jews who burnt alive a large group of chained and handcuffed men, women and children for their adherence to teachings the Jesus Christ (PBUH).

    Baltiblogs

  • Many linguists believe that the word holocaust, which is a Greek word -- holo means all and caust meaning "to burn to ashes", was originally coined to refer to a criminal incident in ancient Yemen committed by Jews who burnt alive a large group of chained and handcuffed men, women and children for their adherence to teachings the Jesus Christ (PBUH).

    Baltiblogs

  • I had consciously used the word holocaust to describe the indiscriminate bombardment of Beirut because I knew it would have a special meaning for Begin.

    An American Life

  • I had consciously used the word holocaust to describe the indiscriminate bombardment of Beirut because I knew it would have a special meaning for Begin.

    An American Life

  • I had consciously used the word holocaust to describe the indiscriminate bombardment of Beirut because I knew it would have a special meaning for Begin.

    An American Life

  • I had consciously used the word holocaust to describe the indiscriminate bombardment of Beirut because I knew it would have a special meaning for Begin.

    An American Life

  • •The word "holocaust" - which now signifies World War II genocide - has been replaced by "burnt offering."

    USATODAY.com News

  • To be sure, you can use the term holocaust to describe these events, but only as a metaphor.

    Belfasttelegraph.co.uk - Frontpage RSS Feed

  • "The collective violence in both rearguards by brutal perpetrators against undeserving victims justifies the use of the word 'holocaust'," he writes.

    Trial of judge Baltasar Garzón splits a Spain still suffering civil war wounds

Comments

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  • Originally derived from the Greek word holókauston, meaning a "completely (holos) burnt (kaustos)" sacrificial offering to a god. (Wikipedia)

    October 15, 2008

  • Conversation pertaining to this term on porajmos.

    November 18, 2008