Definition of holiness in English:


Syllabification: ho·li·ness
Pronunciation: /ˈhōlēnis


  • 1The state of being holy: a life of holiness and total devotion to God
    More example sentences
    • Moses learns at that moment of contemplation, four things about holiness.
    • All religions have their symbols of holiness through which the sacred flows into the mundane.
    • Paul also tells us to lead quiet lives in godliness and holiness.
  • 1.1 (His/Your Holiness) A title given to the pope, Orthodox patriarchs, and the Dalai Lama, or used in addressing them.
    More example sentences
    • A news agency recently reported you as the spiritual adviser to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
    • In the typical Tibetan home, there are photographs displayed of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other incarnate masters.
    • So when a friend of mine invited me to attend teachings with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, I signed on for two weeks worth of teachings.
  • 1.2 [as modifier] Denoting a Christian renewal movement originating in the mid 19th century among Methodists in the US, emphasizing the Wesleyan doctrine of the sanctification of believers.
    More example sentences
    • The current interest in spirituality speaks to the holiness movement that was at the core of it.
    • A former Methodist pastor and holiness preacher had established a bible school.
    • These people knew the holiness code cover to cover and could quote you chapter and verse.


Old English hālignes (see holy, -ness).

More definitions of holiness

Definition of holiness in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kəːf
a slit made by cutting with a saw