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

  • n. A war declared or fought for a religious or high moral purpose, as to extend or defend a religion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A war that is entirely, primarily, or ostensibly religious in motivation; a war over religion.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. 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.
  • n. See under Holy.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Noureddin and Saladin are ranked among the Mahometan saints; and the constant meditation of the holy war appears to have shed a serious and sober color over their lives and actions.

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • The Pope would call for holy war and the Christian kings of Europe would respond, led, no doubt, by perfidious Spain.

    Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer

  • Indoctrinating his eight-year-old boy to believe that holy war is what gives meaning to his young life says much about how the al-Qaeda leader views the world.

    The Longest War

  • The depth of feeling that burns inside bin Laden about his holy war could be seen during the January 10, 2001, wedding ceremony of his son Muhammad, where one of his youngest sons, then aged eight, made a short speech captured on video in which he declaimed, I stand for a jihad against the infidels today and shall do so until eternity.

    The Longest War

  • In the sixty-eighth year of his age, his martial spirit urged him to embark in person for a holy war against the Saracens of Sicily; he was prevented by death, and Basil, surnamed the Slayer of the

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • The true Cause, the holy war against the rapacious despoilers of multiple environments, against the polluters and DNAnarchists.

    Flinx In Flux

  • But the principal source of his fame and riches was the holy war which he waged against the Gentoos of Hindostan.

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • My fleet numbered fifty merchantmen, and as many yachts for pleasance, and an hundred and fifty sail ready fitted for holy war with the Unbelievers.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • The Commander of the Faithful, Omar bin al-Khattáb (whom Allah accept!), once levied for holy war an army of Moslems, to encounter the foe before Damascus, and they laid close siege to one of the

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Azzam remembers that Zarqawi, then in his mid twenties, was a “street guy” with a long rap sheet, a brawler quick with a knife and a propensity for drink, who had come to fight in the holy war because he had “finally decided to return to Allah.”

    The Longest War


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