Children's, Intermediate and Advanced Online English Dictionary & Thesaurus

Comprehensive
Dictionary Suite
Help
Help
Help
 
   
Display options
Show syllables
Show Lookup History
Double-Click Lookup
  Show Spanish support
 
Pronunciation
Wordsmyth
  Phonics
  IPA
 
Entry formats
Standard
  Classic
 
Lookup History
holocaust

hol·o·caust

holocaust

pronunciation:
ha l kawst [or] ho l kawst
features:
Word History, Word Parts
part of speech: noun
definition 1: an extensive or thorough destruction or devastation, esp. by fire.
The dropping of the atomic bomb triggered a nuclear holocaust in Hiroshima, Japan.
synonyms:
conflagration, devastation
similar words:
cataclysm, destruction, firestorm, havoc, inferno
definition 2: (cap.) the systematic slaughter of Jews by Nazis during World War II.
The Holocaust is remembered as one of history's most atrocious crimes against humanity.Millions of people died in the Holocaust.
similar words:
annihilation, genocide, hecatomb, massacre, pogrom, slaughter
definition 3: a sacrificial offering that is set on fire and destroyed.
similar words:
auto-da-fé, hecatomb, sacrifice, suttee
derivations: holocaustal (adj.), holocaustic (adj.)
Word History
Holocaust comes from an ancient Greek word meaning "burnt whole." The English word caustic also has Greek beginnings. A caustic chemical is one that causes a burning feeling on the skin. Compare the words "caustic" and "holocaust," and you may be able to guess which part of the word "holocaust" comes from the ancient Greek word for "burnt."
Word Parts
The word holocaust contains the following part:
caust, caut Greek root that means burn
Show wordsHide wordsExample words: