Definition of grail in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɡreɪl/


1 (the Grail or the Holy Grail) (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.
Example sentences
  • Late in the twelfth century stories of the Holy Grail began to be written in France.
  • Arthur uses the Grail to help his knights focus on something good, rather than fighting amongst themselves.
  • And what is King Arthur without Excalibur and the quest for the Holy Grail?
2A thing which is eagerly pursued or sought after: the enterprise society where profit at any cost has become the holy grail
More example sentences
  • Rather than pursuing the holy grail of million-selling titles, the company is focused on achieving annual profitability.
  • Everyone was pursuing the holy grail of the young and trendy listener with the disposable income.
  • It is the best hope we have of this much sought after holy grail - peace in our time.


From Old French graal, from medieval Latin gradalis 'dish'.

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