holocaust

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See also: Holocaust

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

An illustration by Gerard Hoet[n 1] of Noah making a holocaust (burnt offering; noun sense 1) to God: see Genesis 8:20 in the Bible.

The noun is derived from Middle English holocaust (burnt offering) [and other forms],[1] from Anglo-Norman holocauste, Old French holocauste, olocauste (modern French holocaust), from Late Latin holocaustum, from Ancient Greek ὁλόκαυστον (holókauston), the neuter form of ὁλόκαυστος (holókaustos, wholly burnt), from ὅλος (hólos, entire, whole) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *solh₂- (whole)) + καυστός (kaustós, burnt) (from καίω (kaíō, to burn, burn up); further etymology uncertain, possibly from Proto-Indo-European *keh₂w-).[2][3]

The verb is derived from the noun. As regards verb sense 3 (“to subject (a group of people) to a holocaust”), compare the use of genocide as a verb.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

holocaust (plural holocausts)

  1. (religion) An offering or sacrifice to a deity that is completely burned to ashes. [from 13th c.]
    Hypernym: burnt offering
    Coordinate term: moirocaust
    • 1526, [William Tyndale, transl.], The Newe Testamẽt [] (Tyndale Bible), [Worms, Germany: Peter Schöffer], OCLC 762018299, The Gospell off S. Marke xij:[32–33], folio lxiij, verso:
      And the ſcribe ſayde vnto hym: well maſter⸝ thou haſt ſayde the trugthe⸝ thatt there ys one God⸝ and that there is none but he. And to love hym with all the herte⸝ and with all the mynde⸝ and with all the ſoule⸝ ãd with all the ſtrẽgthe. And to love a mans nehbour as hym ſilfe⸝ ys a greater thynge then all holocauſtꝭ [holocaustes] and ſacrifiſes.
    • 1650, Thomas Browne, “Of the Picture of Abraham Sacrificing Isaac”, in Pseudodoxia Epidemica: [], 2nd edition, London: [] A[braham] Miller, for Edw[ard] Dod and Nath[aniel] Ekins, [], OCLC 152706203, 5th book, page 208:
      [] Iſaac carried on his back the wood for the ſacrifice; which being an holocauſt or burnt offering to be conſumed unto aſhes, we cannot well conceive the wood a burthen for a boy; but ſuch a one unto Iſaac, as that which it typified was unto Chriſt, that is the wood or croſſe whereon he ſuffered; []
    • 1680, Henry More, chapter XI, in Apocalypsis Apocalypseos; or The Revelation of St John the Divine Unveiled. [], London: [] J. M. for J[ohn] Martyn, and W. Kettilby, [], OCLC 228727807, page 101:
      In the firſt part whereof [i.e., of the inner court of the Temple of God mentioned in Revelation 11:1] is the Temple, which conſiſts of the Sanctum, and Sanctum Sanctorum, and in the latter part thereof ſtands the Altar of Holocauſts, which whole ſpace therefore is Thyſiaſterion, or the place of ſacrificing, and was not to be rendred Altar, but the place where the Altar ſtands.
  2. (by extension)
    1. (religion, also figuratively) A complete or large offering or sacrifice.
      Synonym: hecatomb
      • 1648, Joseph Beaumont, “Canto XVII. The Mortification.”, in Psyche: Or Loves Mysterie, [], London: [] George Boddington, [], published 1651, OCLC 1227528801, stanza 100, page 322, column 2:
        Inſnar'd ſhe was in Shechems Treachery, / And, ſilly Mayden, ſuddenly became / An Holocauſt to Luſts unhappy Flame.
      • 1808 August 6, “Spain. Proclamation to the Spanish warriors.”, in The Morning Chronicle, number 12,240, London: [] John Lambert [], OCLC 785645888, page 2, column 3:
        Oh! and with what a noble freeness on the contrary will not that good soldier, the worthy Spaniard present himself, who, wreathed with laurels, shall run after triumph to the altar of his august mother (his country), and offer up to her in holocaust, the arms and the banners of the vanquished foe; or else testify his bravery by his blood, and body all over glorious sears.
      • 1821 August 8, The Morning Chronicle, number 16,319, London: [] D[avid] Robertson, [], OCLC 785645888, page 2, column 3:
        Is it because the Grand Seignior [of Turkey] does not recognise the religion of Christ, or because himself and his predecessors have so long enjoyed the privilege of shedding Christian blood at their pleasure? [] Surely the memorable facts of our [Greek] forefathers having created the arts and sciences, and propagated Christianity, furnish no good reason why their descendants should be offered up as holocausts to modern legitimacy!
    2. Complete destruction by fire; also, the thing so destroyed.
      • 1671, John Milton, “Samson Agonistes, []”, in Paradise Regain’d. A Poem. In IV Books. To which is Added, Samson Agonistes, London: [] J. M[acock] for John Starkey [], OCLC 228732398, lines 698–708, page 98:
        So vertue giv'n for loſt, / Depreſt, and overthrown, as ſeem'd, / Like that ſelf-begott'n bird [the phoenix] / In the Arabian woods emboſt, / That no ſecond knows nor third, / And lay e're while a Holocauſt, / From out her aſhie womb now teem'd, / Revives, reflouriſhes, then vigorous moſt / When moſt unactive deem'd, / And though her body die, her fame ſurvives, / A ſecular bird ages of lives.
      • 1889 March 16, “All cremated alive: Horrible holocaust near Hollow Rock, Tenn.”, in The Daily American, volume XIV, number 4,571, Nashville, Tenn.: American Co., OCLC 12953467, page 1, column 1:
        A horrible holocaust occurred near Hollow Rock, in Benton County, about 7 o'clock last night. The residence of William F. Flowers was consumed by fire.
      • 1966, James Workman, The Mad Emperor, Sydney, N.S.W.: Scripts, OCLC 220932706, page 151:
        The hut was a holocaust; men fighting their way out howled and coughed on smoke.
    3. (figuratively)
      1. Extensive destruction of a group of animals or (especially) people; a large-scale massacre or slaughter.
        a nuclear holocaust
        • 1871 October 1, “Northumbrian” [pseudonym], “Human holocausts in mines”, in Reynolds’s Newspaper: A Weekly Journal of Politics, History, Literature, and General Intelligence, number 1,103, London: [] [F]or the proprietors, George W[illiam] M[acArthur] Reynolds, [], and John Dicks, [], by the said John Dicks, [], OCLC 1112869644, page 3, column 1:
          Three hundred and twelve lives have been sacrificed in seven holocausts, which it would not be accurate to denominate "accidents," in the Lancashire coal fields, since November, 1868. [] [P]ractices are permitted to prevail in one coal-field which cannot be sanctioned by science, and are not be justified except in one sense, that the comfort of the whole people in the distribution of fuel, and the distribution of wages through manufactures, condone the calamity of the holocaust of three hundred and twelve lives. We refuse to believe that the British people will accept any such condonation for the slaughter of three hundred and odd of their fellow-countrymen.
        • 1895 September 10, “Another Armenian holocaust: Five villages burned, five thousand persons made homeless, and anti-Christians organized”, in The New York Times, volume XLIV, number 13,745, New York, N.Y.: The New York Times Company, ISSN 0362-4331, OCLC 971436363, page 1, column 6:
          ANOTHER ARMENIAN HOLOCAUST; Five Villages Burned, Five Thousand Persons Made Homeless, and Anti-Christians Organized [article title]. [] The Daily News will to-morrow publish a dispatch from Kara, stating that fresh outrages have been perpetrated in the Erzinzian district.
        • 1925 November, Melville Chater, “History’s Greatest Trek: Tragedy Stalks through the Near East as Greece and Turkey Exchange Two Million of Their People”, in Gilbert Grosvenor, editor, National Geographic, volume XLVIII, number 5, Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society [], ISSN 0027-9358, OCLC 1049714034, page 533, column 1:
          This trek, brought about by the startling recuperation of Turkey after her defeat in the World War and her subsequent triumph over the Greeks in Anatolia, eventually developed into a regulated Exchange of racial minorities, according to specific terms and under the supervision of the League of Nations. But the initial episodes of the Exchange drama were enacted to the accompaniment of the boom of cannon and the rattle of machine guns and with the settings painted by the flames of the Smyrna holocaust.
        • 1938 February 6, “Proteus” [pseudonym], “The changing scene [Help for Franco?]”, in Gershon Agronsky, editor, The Palestine Post, volume XIV, number 3567, Jerusalem: The Palestine Post, OCLC 31267037, page 4, column 4:
          [T]he entire Press, more particularly the French press, is worried lest there be some connection between the bloodless holocaust of German Generals and Ambassadors and the persistent reports that [Benito] Mussolini is about to intervene in Spain on the grand scale.
        • 1953 December 22, Talbot Jennings; Jan Lustig; Noel Langley, Knights of the Round Table:
          None will emerge the victor from this holocaust.
      2. Alternative letter-case form of Holocaust (the systematic mass murder (democide or genocide) of Jews (and, more broadly, of disabled people, homosexuals, Romanis, Slavs, and others) perpetrated by Nazi Germany shortly before and during World War II); hence, the state-sponsored mass murder of a particular group of people in society. [from 20th c.]

Usage notes[edit]

  • According to the Oxford English Dictionary,[2] use of the word Holocaust to refer to the mass murder of Jews by Nazi Germany dates back to 1942. By the 1970s, “the Holocaust” was often synonymous with the Jewish exterminations. This use of the term has been criticised because it appears to imply that there was a voluntary religious purpose behind the Nazi actions, which was not the case from either the perspective of the Nazis or the victims. Hence, some people prefer the term Shoah, which is Hebrew for “catastrophe”.
  • The word continues to be used in its other senses. For example, part of the action of the BBC radio drama Earthsearch (1981) by the English author and screenwriter James Follett (1939–2021) takes place in “Holocaust City”, so named because the inhabitants were the only survivors of a global nuclear war. However, this usage is considered by some to be Holocaust trivialization and thus to be avoided.
  • For more information on the use of the term Holocaust, see Holocaust.

Hyponyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

Verb[edit]

holocaust (third-person singular simple present holocausts, present participle holocausting, simple past and past participle holocausted) (transitive)

  1. (religion, also figuratively) To sacrifice (chiefly an animal) to be completely burned.
    • 1647, [John Cleveland], “On I. W. A. B. of York”, in The Character of a London-diurnall: VVith Severall Select Poems. [], [London: s.n.], OCLC 499025762, page 50:
      Such acts muſt needs be his, who did deviſe / By crying Altars down, to ſacrifice / To private malice; where you might have ſeen / His conſcience holocauſted to his ſpleen.
    • 1871 April 29, E. L. S., “A Forgotten Homerist”, in Notes and Queries: A Medium of Inter-communication for Literary Men, General Readers, etc., volume VII, number 174 (4th Series), London: [] Spottiswoode & Co. [for] William Greig Smith, OCLC 611217138, page 362, column 1:
      In 1767 [Alexander] Pope's rhymed Iliad had been in everybody's hand during forty years. What portion of that period had Doctor [Samuel] Langley devoted to his own blank verse? Did he survive to compare and compete it with [William] Cowper's? Has it been holocausted to Vulcan? or is it slumbering in the Langleian archives?
    • 1995, Janice Hocker Rushing, “Evolution of ‘The New Frontier’ in Alien and Aliens: Patriarchal Co-optation of the Feminine Archetype”, in Joel W. Martin and Conrad E. Ostwalt Jr., editors, Screening the Sacred: Religion, Myth, and Ideology in Popular American Film, Boulder, Colo.; Oxford, Oxfordshire: Westview Press, →ISBN, part 2 (Mythological Criticism), page 100:
      Dionysus, once the great goat-god, turned into horned and hooved Satan, the scapegoat, who was banished (as the escape-goat) and later sacrificially burned (holocausted).
    • 1997, Kathie Carlson, Life’s Daughter/Death’s Bride: Inner Transformations through the Goddess Demeter/Persephone, Boston, Mass.: Shambhala Publications, →ISBN, page 109:
      Is it any wonder that the ruler of such a place would be worshipped with aversion rather than invocation? Or that the offering to underworld deities was traditionally an offering that was holocausted, completely burnt and given over to the god, as in the worship of the Olympians in their temples above?
  2. To destroy (something) completely, especially by fire.
    • 1850, George Townsend, “[Friday, 8 March 1850]”, in Journal of a Tour in Italy, in 1850, with an Account of an Interview with the Pope, at the Vatican, London: Francis & John Rivington, [], OCLC 54071662, page 119:
      The meek and candid persecutor, Cardinal [Reginald] Pole, who killed and took possession when [Thomas] Cranmer was holocausted, built the chapel, and became the voucher for the truth of the absurd legend.
    • 1874, “The Charms of Kilkee”, in London Society. An Illustrated Magazine of Light and Amusing Literature for the Hours of Relaxation, volume XXVI, holiday number, London: [] William Clowes and Sons, OCLC 224109708, page 80:
      I at once holocausted / My clothes to stamp out the infection—infection.
    • 1887 October 8, “The Church Congress”, in The Saturday Review of Politics, Literature, Science, and Art, volume LXIV, number 1,667, London: [] Spottiswoode and Co., OCLC 1036708132, page 475, column 1:
      A "holocaust of humdrum" is a very vile phrase, especially when you do not mean that the humdrum is holocausted, but that it holocausts something or somebody else.
    • 1888, Bill Nye, “Julius Caesar in Town”, in Bill Nye; James Whitcomb Riley, Fun, Wit and Humor (The Pastime Series; 34), Chicago, Ill.: Laird & Lee, published November 1889, OCLC 247208995, page 18:
      Sulla once said, before [Julius] Cæsar had made much of a showing, that some day this young man would be the ruin of the aristocracy, and twenty years afterward, when Cæsar sacked, assassinated and holocausted a whole theological seminary for saying "eyether" and "nyether," the old settlers recalled what Sulla had said.
    • 1996, Martin Sorrell, “Strangling Gooseberries: Translating Obaldia”, in Jane Taylor, Edith McMorran, and Guy Leclerq, editors, Translation Here and There, Now and Then, Exeter, Devon: Elm Bank Publications, published 2001, →ISBN, page 87:
      From the rising to the setting sun, from the West to the East, / Man shows himself as lower than the beast. / Bestial behaviour, in its fiery globe, / Praised to the sky and holocausting the globe.
    • 2017 May 18, Melody Ortenburger Suppes, chapter 22, in Banana Bubblegum: The Second Herman Grabfelder Mystery, [Bloomington, Ind.]: Xlibris, →ISBN:
      The first fear realized was fire breaking out and holocausting all the parched mountainsides, along with the treasured homes thereon, smoke sooting up the air for miles around; []
  3. To subject (a group of people) to a holocaust (mass annihilation); to destroy en masse.
    • 1991, Alan M[orton] Dershowitz, “Introduction”, in Chutzpah (A Touchstone Book), New York, N.Y.: Simon & Schuster, →ISBN, page 8:
      Over the centuries, we [Jews] were expelled, pogromed, crusaded, inquisitioned, jihaded, and holocausted out of countries that we helped to make great.
    • 2007, “The Un/Binding and Sacrificing of Isaac: Isaac, Judaism, Israel, Some Poems, and My Life”, in Mishael M. Caspi and John T. Greene, editors, Unbinding the Binding of Isaac, Lanham, Md.; Plymouth, Devon: University Press of America, →ISBN, page 129:
      Some of these unshared poems are quite lengthy, about 90 lines each, and they work off the historical fact that Isaac was indeed holocausted, not once, but many times. And as a result, much of Europe and Islam are now happily free of Jews.
    • 2009 October 29, J. David, “The Propaganda Campaign of Lies against Israel that began in the Fall of 2000”, in The Jews, Nationalism, and the Universalist Ideal, Bloomington, Ind.: iUniverse, →ISBN, page 140:
      I remember a front page photo in the Toronto Star of a bulldozer ready to push bodies into a mass grave, however, when I found the article in reference, the version that is available only shows the pile of dead and mentions the bulldozer; it does not show it. The article explained that it was because the Israeli curfew did not allow officials to properly bury the dead. The message, however, propagated through the photo and bulldozer reference is: Israel is "Holocausting" the Palestinians.
    • 2017 September, “Season Five [Bajoran]”, in Zachary Auburn, editor, A Field Guide to the Aliens of Star Trek: The Next Generation: An Unauthorized Parody, [Los Angeles, Calif.]: The Devastator, →ISBN, page 136:
      Then like fifty years ago the Cardassians invaded Bajor and enslaved the people and basically holocausted them.

Translations[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ From Gerard Hoet (1728) Figures de la Bible, The Hague: Chez Pierre de Hondt, OCLC 1000301512.

References[edit]

  1. ^ holocaust, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 holocaust, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2021.
  3. ^ holocaust, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

Further reading[edit]


Czech[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

holocaust m

  1. holocaust (the state-sponsored mass murder of an ethnic group)

Dutch[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle Dutch holocaust, from Latin holocaustum, from the neuter of Ancient Greek ὁλόκαυστος (holókaustos). The shift to masculine was influenced by Middle French holocauste. The meaning “genocide” derives from English holocaust.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈɦɔ.loːˌkɑu̯st/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: ho‧lo‧caust

Noun[edit]

holocaust m (plural holocausten)

  1. holocaust, genocide
  2. (dated) holocaust (complete burnt offering)

Related terms[edit]


Old Spanish[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

holocaust m (plural holocaustos)

  1. Apocopic form of holocausto, burnt offering
    • c. 1200, Almerich, Fazienda de Ultramar, f. 34r.
      Caẏo fuego del ſénor e ardio el holocauſt e la léna ¬ las piedras e el poluo ¬ el agua q́ era enla cequia.
      The fire of the Lord fell and burnt the offering and the wood and the stones and the dust and the water that was in the trench.
    • Idem, f. 76r.
      [] ¬ uinieró ¬ fraguaró la caſa ¬ fizieró ẏ altar. ¬ ofreçieró ſo olocauſt. como es eſćpto en la ley demoẏſen. uaró de dios
      [] And they came and set the house and made an altar there. And they offered their burnt offering according to what is written in the Law of Moses the man of God.

Polish[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Latin holocaustum, from Ancient Greek ὁλόκαυστος (holókaustos).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

holocaust m inan

  1. (biblical, historical, literary, religion) burnt offering, holocaust (slaughtered animal burnt on an altar)
    Synonym: całopalenie
  2. (literary) holocaust (extensive destruction of a group of animals or people)

Declension[edit]

Related terms[edit]

noun

Further reading[edit]

  • holocaust in Wielki słownik języka polskiego, Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN
  • holocaust in Polish dictionaries at PWN

Romanian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French holocauste.

Noun[edit]

holocaust n (plural holocausturi)

  1. holocaust

Declension[edit]