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See also: hồ ly, hộ lý, and holý



From Middle English holi, hali, from Old English hāliġ, hāleġ ‎(holy, consecrated, sacred, venerated, godly, saintly, ecclesiastical, pacific, tame), from Proto-Germanic *hailagaz ‎(holy, bringing health), from Proto-Germanic *hailaz ‎(healthy, whole), from Proto-Indo-European *kóh₂ilus ‎(healthy, whole), equivalent to whole +‎ -y. Cognate with Scots haly ‎(holy), West Frisian hillich ‎(holy), Low German hillig ‎(holy), Dutch heilig ‎(holy), German heilig ‎(holy), Danish hellig ‎(holy), Swedish helig ‎(holy). More at whole.



holy ‎(comparative holier, superlative holiest)

  1. Dedicated to a religious purpose or a god.
    I'm planning to visit the holy city of Mecca this Ramadan.
  2. Revered in a religion.
  3. Perfect or flawless.
  4. Separated or set apart from (something unto something or someone else).
  5. Set apart or dedicated for a specific purpose, or for use by a single entity or person.
  6. (slang) Used as an intensifier in various interjections.
    Holy cow, I can’t believe he actually lost the race!



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holy ‎(plural holies)

  1. (archaic) A thing that is extremely holy; used almost exclusively in Holy of Holies.
    • Franz von Reber, Joseph Thacher Clarke, History of Ancient Art (1882) p. 146:
      The holy of holies, a cubical space of ten cubits on the side, was separated from the larger antechamber by four columns, which were also covered with gold and stood upon silver sockets; they bore a second curtain of four colors.

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