- a great or complete devastation or destruction, especially by fire.
- a sacrifice completely consumed by fire; burnt offering.
- (usually initial capital letter) the systematic mass slaughter of European Jews in Nazi concentration camps during World War II (usually preceded by the).
- any mass slaughter or reckless destruction of life.
Origin of holocaust
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for holocaust
Several of them disputed the figure of six million Jewish deaths in the Holocaust.The Louisiana Racists Who Courted Steve Scalise
January 3, 2015
In the Jewish community, Christians who saved Jews from the Holocaust are known as “righteous gentiles.”The Straight Hero of Cameroon’s Gays
December 10, 2014
However, Brunner was not the only perpetrator of the Holocaust mooching around the streets of the Syrian capital.Hitler’s Henchmen in Arabia
December 7, 2014
That word “denialism” is particularly profane, with its unsubtle invocation of the Holocaust.Why It Was Right to Question Rolling Stone’s U-VA Rape Story
December 5, 2014
Belzberg had grown up learning about WWII and visiting Holocaust museums since she was a young girl.The Man Who Invented the Word ‘Genocide’
November 19, 2014
Dugommier would listen to no such proposition for a holocaust.The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte
William Milligan Sloane
Yet even in this holocaust there were degrees, gradations of sacrifice.Woman's Work in the Civil War
Linus Pierpont Brockett
Mirla, we know, is out of the question; it is a holocaust of fire.Walls of Acid
It is to explain that and to ask your cooperation in warding off the holocaust that I have sent for you.The Copper-Clad World
Next day the ceremony was to be continued by a holocaust of pigs.Celebrated Travels and Travellers
- great destruction or loss of life or the source of such destruction, esp fire
- Also called: the Churban, the Shoah (usually capital) the mass murder of Jews and members of many other ethnic, social, and political groups in continental Europe between 1940 and 1945 by the Nazi regime
- a rare word for burnt offering
Word Origin and History for holocaust
mid-13c., "sacrifice by fire, burnt offering," from Greek holokauston "a thing wholly burnt," neuter of holokaustos "burned whole," from holos "whole" (see holo-) + kaustos, verbal adjective of kaiein "to burn." Originally a Bible word for "burnt offerings," given wider sense of "massacre, destruction of a large number of persons" from 1833. The Holocaust "Nazi genocide of European Jews in World War II," first recorded 1957, earlier known in Hebrew as Shoah "catastrophe." The word itself was used in English in reference to Hitler's Jewish policies from 1942, but not as a proper name for them.
Auschwitz makes all too clear the principle that the human psyche can create meaning out of anything. [Robert Jay Lifton, "The Nazi Doctors"]
The killing of some six million Jews (see also Jews) by the Nazis during World War II. To the Nazis, the Holocaust was the “Final Solution” to the “Jewish problem,” and would help them establish a pure German master race. Much of the killing took place in concentration camps, such as Auschwitz and Dachau. (See Adolf Eichmann and Heinrich Himmler.)