Complete Definition of "holocaust"

see|Holocaust
English

Etymology
Greek á½Î»Î¿Ï italbrac|holos or italbrac|hol âwholeâ + καÏÏÏÎ¿Ï italbrac|kaustos âburntâ < καίειν italbrac|kaiein âto burnâ. The term traditionally referred to animal sacrifice where the whole animal was burned as an offering. This was only done in exceptional circumstances. Normally only the bones, fat and skin were burned on the altar; the animalâs edible parts were distributed to worshippers to prepare festive dinners.

Noun
en-noun

  1. A sacrifice to a god that is completely burned to ashes. The following usages are derived:
  2. The annihilation or near-annihilation of a group of animals or people, whether by natural or deliberate agency (eg ânuclear holocaustâ)
  3. The state-sponsored mass murder of an ethnic group. In particular (and often with an initial capital) the âFinal Solutionâ, a euphemism used by the Nazis to describe the mass killing of Jews and others either in camps equipped with industrial gassing and crematorium equipment or by more conventional means.

Usage notes
Use of the word holocaust to depict Jewish suffering under the Nazis dates back to 1942, according to the OED. By the 1970s, The Holocaust was often synonymous with the Jewish exterminations. This use of the term as a synonym for the Jewish exterminations has been criticised because it appears to imply that there was a religious purpose behind the Nazi actions, which was not the case whether from the perspective of the Nazis or from that of the victims.
The word continues with its other uses. For example, part of the action of a BBC radio drama by James Follett in 1981 takes place in âHolocaust Cityâ, which by inference was named because the inhabitants were the only survivors of a global nuclear war. A current website, Iraqi holocaust, deals with the atrocities of the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Related terms
caustic
holo-

Translations
Spanish: holocausto m

See also
burnt offering
ethnic cleansing
pogrom

References
Paternoster, Lewis M. and Frager-Stone, Ruth. <u>Three Dimensions of Vocabulary Growth</u>. Second Edition. Amsco School Publications: USA. 1998.

Category:Greek derivations

fa:holocaust
io:holocaust
nl:holocaust
ru:holocaust
fi:holocaust
te:holocaust
vi:holocaust
zh:holocaust

Revision and Credits for"holocaust"
  • 2007-12-06 22:51 - SemperBlotto - Reverted edits by [[Special:Contributions/63.3.1.1|63.3.1.1]] ([[User_talk:63.3.1.1|Talk]]); changed back to last version by [[User:Hippietrail|Hippietrail]]

  • Full Revision History
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