or je·had



a holy war undertaken as a sacred duty by Muslims.
any vigorous, emotional crusade for an idea or principle.

Origin of jihad

First recorded in 1865–70, jihad is from the Arabic word jihād struggle, strife Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jehad

Contemporary Examples of jehad

Historical Examples of jehad

  • Jehad had been proclaimed, and they were Christians in a Moslem country.

  • He is said to have torn off his suspenders, dipped himself in oil and proclaimed a Jehad.

  • When he does, it almost always winds up with a jehad, a holy war.

    Border, Breed Nor Birth

    Dallas McCord Reynolds

  • The fact is that all the Mohammedan world was in a state of restless activity, as the jehad, or holy war, was being preached.

    Southern Arabia

    Theodore Bent

  • Jehad—religious war—generally applied to a war entered into from self-interest, as that of the United States against Spain.


    R. B. Cunninghame Graham

British Dictionary definitions for jehad



a variant spelling of jihad




Islam a holy war against infidels undertaken by Muslims in defence of the Islamic faith
Islam the personal struggle of the individual believer against evil and persecution
rare a crusade in support of a cause

Word Origin for jihad

C19: from Arabic jihād a conflict
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

Word Origin and History for jehad



1869, from Arabic, usually translated as "holy war," literally "struggle, contest, effort," from infinitive of jahada "he waged war, he applied himself to." Used in English since c.1880 for any sort of doctrinal crusade.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

jehad in Culture


[(ji-hahd, ji-had)]

In Islam, a holy war; a war ordained by God. The Koran teaches that soldiers who die in jihad go to heaven immediately.


Modern-day terrorists often claim that they are carrying out acts of destruction, such as the attacks on the World Trade Center towers, as part of a jihad.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.