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

  • n. Islam An individual's striving for spiritual self-perfection.
  • n. Islam A Muslim holy war or spiritual struggle against infidels.
  • n. A crusade or struggle: "The war against smoking is turning into a jihad against people who smoke” ( Fortune).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

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

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


Arabic jihād, from jahada, to strive; see ghd in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Arabic جهاد (jihād, "struggle; effort"). (Wiktionary)



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