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holy British & World English

Dedicated or consecrated to God or a religious purpose; sacred

holy city British & World English

A city held sacred by the adherents of a religion

holy day British & World English

A day on which a religious observance is held

holy fool British & World English

A person who does not conform to social norms of behaviour because of mental disability or as a deliberate choice, regarded as having a compensating divine blessing or inspiration

Holy Land British & World English

A region on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean, in what is now Israel and Palestine, revered by Christians as the place in which Christ lived and taught, by Jews as the land given to the people of Israel, and by Muslims

Holy Name British & World English

(Especially in the Catholic Church) the name of Jesus as an object of formal devotion

Holy See British & World English

The papacy or the papal court; those associated with the Pope in the government of the Roman Catholic Church at the Vatican

holy war British & World English

A war declared or waged in support of a religious cause

Holy Week British & World English

The week before Easter, starting on Palm Sunday

Holy Year British & World English

(In the Roman Catholic Church) a period of remission from the penal consequences of sin, granted under certain conditions for a year usually at intervals of twenty-five years

holy basil British & World English

A kind of basil that is venerated by Hindus as a sacred plant

Holy Family British & World English

Christ as a child with Mary and Joseph (and often also others such as John the Baptist or St Anne), especially as a subject for a painting

Holy Ghost British & World English

another term for Holy Spirit.

Holy Island British & World English

another name for Lindisfarne.

Holy League British & World English

Any of various European alliances sponsored by the papacy during the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries. They include the League of 1511–13, formed by Pope Julius II to expel Louis XII of France from Italy, and the French Holy League (also called the Catholic League) of 1576 and 1584, a Catholic extremist league formed during the French Wars of Religion

Holy Office British & World English

The ecclesiastical court of the Roman Catholic Church established as the final court of appeal in trials of heresy. Formed in 1542 as part of the Inquisition, it was renamed the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1965

holy orders British & World English

The sacrament or rite of ordination as a member of the clergy, especially in the grades of bishop, priest, or deacon

holy place British & World English

A place revered as holy, typically one to which religious pilgrimage is made

holy roller British & World English

A member of an evangelical Christian group which expresses religious fervour by frenzied excitement or trances

Holy Spirit British & World English

(In Christianity) the third person of the Trinity; God as spiritually active in the world

holy water British & World English

Water blessed by a priest and used in religious ceremonies

Holy Alliance British & World English

A loose alliance of European powers pledged to uphold the principles of the Christian religion. It was proclaimed at the Congress of Vienna (1814–15) by the emperors of Austria and Russia and the king of Prussia and was joined by most other European monarchs

Holy Saturday British & World English

The Saturday preceding Easter Sunday. Also called Easter Eve or Easter Saturday

Holy Thursday British & World English

(Chiefly in the Roman Catholic Church) Maundy Thursday

Holy Scripture British & World English

The sacred writings of Christianity contained in the Bible

Holy Sepulchre British & World English

The place in which the body of Jesus was laid after being taken down from the Cross

Holy Cross Day British & World English

The day on which the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross is held, 14 September

holy of holies British & World English

The inner chamber of the sanctuary in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, separated by a veil from the outer chamber. It was reserved for the presence of God and could be entered only by the High Priest on the Day of Atonement

in holy orders in holy orders British & World English

Having the status of an ordained member of the clergy

in holy orders British & World English

Having the status of an ordained member of the clergy

Holy Rood Day British & World English

The day on which the feast of the Invention of the Cross is held, 3 May

take holy orders in holy orders British & World English

Become an ordained member of the clergy

take holy orders British & World English

Become an ordained member of the clergy

Holy Roman Empire British & World English

The empire set up in western Europe following the coronation of Charlemagne as emperor in the year 800. It was created by the medieval papacy in an attempt to unite Christendom under one rule. At times the territory of the empire was extensive and included Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and parts of Italy and the Netherlands

holy day of obligation British & World English

(In the Roman Catholic Church) a day on which Roman Catholics are required to attend Mass

Holy Ark in ark British & World English

A chest or cupboard housing the Torah scrolls in a synagogue

Holy Mary in Holy Joe British & World English

A sanctimonious or pious person

the Grail in grail British & World English

(In medieval legend) the cup or platter used by Christ at the Last Supper, and in which Joseph of Arimathea received Christ’s blood at the Cross. Quests for it undertaken by medieval knights are described in versions of the Arthurian legends written from the early 13th century onward

grail British & World English

A thing which is eagerly pursued or sought after

Song of the Three Holy Children British & World English

A book of the Apocrypha, telling of three Hebrew exiles thrown into a furnace by Nebuchadnezzar

holy terror in terror British & World English

A person, especially a child, that causes trouble or annoyance

the Trinity in trinity British & World English

The three persons of the Christian Godhead; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

Holy Communion in communion British & World English

The service of Christian worship at which bread and wine are consecrated and shared

the Blessed Sacrament in sacrament British & World English

(In Catholic use) the consecrated elements of the Eucharist, especially the bread or Host

High Holidays British & World English

The Jewish festivals of Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashana

High Holy Days in High Holidays British & World English

The Jewish festivals of Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashana


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