holy


holy
holy (adj.) O.E. halig "holy, consecrated, sacred, godly," from P.Gmc. *hailaga- (Cf. O.N. heilagr, O.Fris. helich "holy," O.S. helag, M.Du. helich, O.H.G. heilag, Ger. heilig, Goth. hailags "holy"). Adopted at conversion for L. 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 O.E. hal (see HEALTH (Cf. health)) and O.H.G. 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.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Holy — Ho ly, a. [Compar. {Holier}; superl. {Holiest}.] [OE. holi, hali, AS. h[=a]lig, fr. h[ae]l health, salvation, happiness, fr. h[=a]l whole, well; akin to OS. h?lag, D. & G. heilig, OHG. heilac, Dan. hellig, Sw. helig, Icel. heilagr. See {Whole},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • holy — holy, sacred, divine, spiritual, religious, blessed are comparable chiefly as epithets applied to persons or things associated with religion or worship and therefore either regarded with special reverence or veneration or thought of as having a… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Holy — bzw. Holý ist der Familienname folgender Personen: František Ondřej Holý (1747–1783), böhmischer Komponist, siehe Franz Andreas Holly Gerhard von Holy (1687–1736), deutscher Orgelbauer Jiří Holý (1922–2009), tschechischer Schauspieler Prokop Holý …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • holy — [hō′lē] adj. holier, holiest [ME holie < OE halig (akin to Ger heilig) < base of OE hal, sound, happy, WHOLE: first used in OE as transl. of L sacer, sanctus, in the Vulg.] [often H ] 1. dedicated to religious use; belonging to or coming… …   English World dictionary

  • Holy — студийный альбом U.D.O …   Википедия

  • Holy — (engl., spr. hōli), heilig; Holiday (ursprünglich Holyday, spr. hollidē), Feier oder Festtag, Holidays, soviel wie Ferien …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Holy — (engl.), heilig, häufig in Zusammensetzungen …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • holy — index infrangible, sacrosanct, solemn Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • holy — [adj] religious, sacred angelic, believing, blessed, chaste, clean, consecrated, dedicated, devoted, devotional, devout, divine, faithful, faultless, glorified, god fearing, godlike, godly, good, hallowed, humble, immaculate, innocent, just,… …   New thesaurus

  • holy — ► ADJECTIVE (holier, holiest) 1) dedicated to God or a religious purpose. 2) morally and spiritually excellent and to be revered. ORIGIN Old English, related to WHOLE(Cf. ↑wholeness) …   English terms dictionary