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

  • adjective Belonging to, derived from, or associated with a divine power; sacred.
  • adjective Regarded with veneration or specified for a religious purpose.
  • adjective Living or undertaken with highly moral or spiritual purpose; saintly.
  • adjective Regarded as deserving special respect or reverence.
  • adjective Informal Used as an intensive.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To canonize.
  • Consecrated; set apart for religious use or uses; of sacred or religious character or quality: as, the holy priesthood; the holy sabbath; holy oil; holy thoughts.
  • Perfect in religious character and the practices of devotion; sanctified; saintly.
  • Exhibiting, indicating, or befitting sanctity of life; devout; righteous.
  • A eulogia, or piece of blessed bread.
  • A person who carried the holy water.
  • Same as morning-star (a weapon)
  • In hunting, the tail of a fox.
  • Synonyms Sacred, dedicated, sanctified. See religion.
  • 2 and Devout, divine, immaculate, saintly.
  • noun A holy man; a saint: same as hallow.
  • noun plural Sacred rites; devotions.
  • noun A place of worship; a sacred place.
  • noun The inner or western division of the Jewish tabernacle, as distinguished from the outer part, called the holy place. The holy of holies was inclosed on three sides by the walls of the tabernacle, while on the fourth or eastern side a veil, ornamented with figures of cherubim, and suspended from four pillars of shittim-wood overlaid with gold, separated it from the holy place (Ex. xxvi. 31; xxxvi. 35). The holy of holies was a perfect cube in its dimensions, the length, breadth, and height being each ten cubits. In it stood the ark of the testament, or ark of the covenant, of shittim-wood over-laid with gold. Upon the ark was the capporeth or golden mercy-seat, the place of the divine presence (Ex. xxv. 22), and on the capporeth were two cherubim, also of gold, both facing toward its center. No one but the high priest entered the holy of holies, and he only once a year, on the Day of Atonement (Lev. xvi.). Also called the most holy place and the oracle.
  • noun The sanctuary or bema of a Christian church: used especially by the Greek and other Oriental churches.
  • noun Among the Nestorians, a small recess at the east end of a church, containing nothing but a cross. No one, not even the priest, is allowed to enter it.

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

  • adjective Set apart to the service or worship of God; hallowed; sacred; reserved from profane or common use; holy vessels; a holy priesthood.
  • adjective Spiritually whole or sound; of unimpaired innocence and virtue; free from sinful affections; pure in heart; godly; pious; irreproachable; guiltless; acceptable to God.
  • adjective (Hist.) a league ostensibly for conserving religion, justice, and peace in Europe, but really for repressing popular tendencies toward constitutional government, entered into by Alexander I. of Russia, Francis I. of Austria, and Frederic William III. of Prussia, at Paris, on the 26th of September, 1815, and subsequently joined by all the sovereigns of Europe, except the pope and the king of England.
  • adjective See Cascara sagrada.
  • adjective See Eucharist.
  • adjective (Art) a picture in which the infant Christ, his parents, and others of his family are represented.
  • adjective a title of the pope.
  • adjective (Theol.) the third person of the Trinity; the Comforter; the Paraclete.
  • adjective See Grail.
  • adjective (Bot.) a sweet-scented grass (Hierochloa borealis and Hierochloa alpina). In the north of Europe it was formerly strewed before church doors on saints' days; whence the name. It is common in the northern and western parts of the United States. Called also vanilla grass or Seneca grass.
  • adjective Childermas day.
  • adjective Palestine, the birthplace of Christianity.
  • adjective the Inquisition.
  • adjective (Script.) the innermost apartment of the Jewish tabernacle or temple, where the ark was kept, and where no person entered, except the high priest once a year.
  • adjective One separated to the service of God.
  • adjective See Order.
  • adjective the cross or crucifix, particularly one placed, in churches. over the entrance to the chancel.
  • adjective a plant, the hemp agrimony.
  • adjective (Eccl.) the Saturday immediately preceding the festival of Easter; the vigil of Easter.
  • adjective same as Holy Ghost (above).
  • adjective See Dove plant.
  • adjective (Bot.) the blessed thistle. See under Thistle.
  • adjective (Eccl.), (Episcopal Ch.), (R. C. Ch.) The Thursday in Holy Week; Maundy Thursday.
  • adjective a crusade; an expedition carried on by Christians against the Saracens in the Holy Land, in the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries, for the possession of the holy places.
  • adjective (Gr. & R. C. Churches) water which has been blessed by the priest for sacred purposes.
  • adjective the stone stoup or font placed near the entrance of a church, as a receptacle for holy water.
  • adjective (Eccl.) the week before Easter, in which the passion of our Savior is commemorated.
  • adjective the sacred Scriptures.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Dedicated to a religious purpose or a god.


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

[Middle English holi, from Old English hālig; see kailo- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English holi, hali, from Old English hāliġ, hāleġ ("holy, consecrated, sacred, venerated, godly, saintly, ecclesiastical, pacific, tame"), from Proto-Germanic *hailagaz (“holy, bringing health”), from Proto-Germanic *hailaz (“healthy, whole”), from Proto-Indo-European *koil- (“healthy, whole”). Cognate with Scots haly ("holy"), Dutch heilig ("holy"), German heilig ("holy"), Swedish helig ("holy"). More at whole.


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  • to be set apart, separate, unique, (qados)

    July 22, 2009