Definitions

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

  • noun Islam An individual's striving for spiritual self-perfection.
  • noun Islam A Muslim holy war or spiritual struggle for the propagation or defense of Islam.
  • noun A campaign against perceived foes, especially such a campaign regarded as fanatical or immoderate.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A general religious war of Mussulmans against Christians or other unbelievers in Islam, inculcated in the Koran and Traditions as a duty.

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

  • noun (Moham.) A religious war against infidels or Mohammedan heretics; also, any bitter war or crusade for a principle or belief.

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

  • noun Islam A holy war undertaken by Muslims.
  • noun An aggressive campaign for an idea.
  • noun theology a personal spiritual struggle for self-improvement and against evil

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

  • noun a holy struggle or striving by a Muslim for a moral or spiritual or political goal
  • noun a holy war waged by Muslims against infidels

Etymologies

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

[Arabic jihād, from jahada, to strive; see ghd in Semitic roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Arabic جهاد (jihād, "struggle; effort").

Examples

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