holy Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “holy” in the English Dictionary

"holy" in British English

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holyadjective

uk   /ˈhəʊ.li/  us   /ˈhoʊ-/
  • holy adjective (RELIGIOUS)

C1 related to a ​religion or a ​god: holy ​scriptures/​rites very ​religious or ​pure: a holy ​person

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  • holy adjective (FOR EMPHASIS)

holy cow/mackerel/smoke! (also offensive holy shit) mainly US informal used to show that you ​think something is ​surprising, ​shocking, or ​impressive: Holy ​cow! How did you get that ​blackeye?
(Definition of holy from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"holy" in American English

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holyadjective

 us   /ˈhoʊ·li/
  • holy adjective (GOOD)

considered to be ​pure or good because of being ​related to what a ​religionvalues: holy ​scriptures Jerusalem is a holy ​city to Christians, ​Muslims, and ​Jews.
  • holy adjective (EMPHASIS)

infml used to ​emphasize another word, and sometimes to ​avoid swearing: My ​nephew is a holy ​terror (= a ​child who ​behaves very ​badly).
Idioms
(Definition of holy from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“holy” in British English

“holy” in American English

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