adjective, ho·li·er, ho·li·est.
noun, plural ho·lies.
Origin of holy
Examples from the Web for holy
The Via Dolorosa ends at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and is marked by nine stations of the cross.
Because holy hell was that bland, unfunny, uncomfortable, and just plain confusing.The Biggest Bombs of 2014: ‘Sex Tape,’ Mariah Carey’s Vocals, ‘How I Met Your Mother’ and More|Kevin Fallon|December 19, 2014|DAILY BEAST
And he was indicted in Israel last week on charges he plotted to blow up sites holy to Islam.
Israelis often are amused and appalled by the crazies attracted to the Holy Land, and not only for religious reasons.
We should remember that holy men have always possessed good noses for wine.
Here Paul debarked from the vessel on which he had sailed 600 miles, and entered once more the Holy Land.The Rand-McNally Bible Atlas|Jesse L. Hurlbut
It was not so terribly hard as to be impossible for ordinary men, like some of the holy hermits and Saints in the past had taught.Stories of the Saints by Candle-Light|Vera C. Barclay
Forms, now turning into dust, holy in our memories, read these familiar pages.The Right and Wrong Uses of the Bible|R. Heber Newton
In a short time the holy cities were recaptured and the Wahabis were driven back into the desert.The New World of Islam|Lothrop Stoddard
Just wait a minute, till I go and see that our holy Saint Cattarina hasn't fallen a-praying over the conserving-pan.Agnes of Sorrento|Harriet Beecher Stowe
British Dictionary definitions for holy
adjective holier or holiest
- a difficult or frightening person
- Irish informal a person who is an active gambler, womanizer, etc
noun plural -lies
- a sacred place
- the holy (functioning as plural) persons or things invested with holiness
Word Origin for holy
Word Origin and History for holy
Old English halig "holy, consecrated, sacred, godly," from Proto-Germanic *hailaga- (cf. Old Norse heilagr, Old Frisian helich "holy," Old Saxon helag, Middle Dutch helich, Old High German heilag, German heilig, Gothic hailags "holy"). Adopted at conversion for Latin sanctus.
Primary (pre-Christian) meaning is not possible to determine, but probably it was "that must be preserved whole or intact, that cannot be transgressed or violated," and connected with Old English hal (see health) and Old High German heil "health, happiness, good luck" (source of the German salutation Heil). Holy water was in Old English. Holy has been used as an intensifying word from 1837; used in expletives since 1880s (e.g. holy smoke, 1883, holy mackerel, 1876, holy cow, 1914, holy moly etc.), most of them euphemisms for holy Christ or holy Moses.