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holy war

a war waged for what is supposed or proclaimed to be a holy purpose, as the defense of faith.
any disagreement or argument between fanatical proponents of radically differing beliefs, opinions, etc.:
a holy war on the merits of rival computer operating systems; a holy war about welfare reform.
Origin of holy war
First recorded in 1685-95 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for holy war
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Here, as a work of art, the 'holy war' should have its natural end.


    James Anthony Froude
  • Remember, too, that this was to him a holy war, the holiest in which the sword can be drawn.

    The World Peril of 1910 George Griffith
  • For the two years from Valmy to Fleurus (1792-94) they had waged a holy war.

    The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte William Milligan Sloane
  • Certainly, the materials for a holy war have long been heaping high.

    The New World of Islam Lothrop Stoddard
  • Some even danced for joy on learning that the Sultan had declared the holy war.

    The New World of Islam Lothrop Stoddard
British Dictionary definitions for holy war

holy war

a war waged in the cause of a religion
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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