"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[uhn-hoh-lee] /ʌnˈhoʊ li/
adjective, unholier, unholiest.
not holy; not sacred or hallowed.
impious; sinful; wicked.
Informal. dreadful; ungodly:
They got us out of bed at the unholy hour of three in the morning.
Origin of unholy
before 1000; Middle English; Old English unhālig (cognate with Dutch onheilig, Old Norse ūheilagr). See un-1, holy
Related forms
unholiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unholy
  • In a short time you'll be achieving unholy tricks that you once thought were unachievable.
  • Back in the unholy birth of the removal of these rights, it was premised on the lie that defaults were unreasonably high.
  • The only way to untangle this unholy knot of history is with a literal proof.
  • It comes down to the two unholy marriages of our modern political parties.
  • The faces near me were those of ghouls worn out in some unholy midnight revel.
  • Corn is grown in an unholy stew of fertilizers and pesticides, and much of it is genetically modified.
  • But they are not the only injuries in a game increasingly engorged with unholy violence at all levels.
  • The kickboard is an unholy combination of skateboard and scooter geared toward stunts.
  • It creates and stimulates unholy wars for the purpose of making captives.
  • Six thousand years of bread: its holy and unholy history.
British Dictionary definitions for unholy


adjective -lier, -liest
not holy or sacred
immoral or depraved
(informal) outrageous or unnatural: an unholy alliance
Derived Forms
unholiness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for unholy

Old English unhalig, "impious, profane, wicked," from un- (1) "not" + halig (see holy). Cf. Middle Dutch onheilich, Old Norse uheilagr, Danish unhellig, Swedish ohelig. In reference to actions, it is attested from late 14c. Colloquial sense of "awful, dreadful" is recorded from 1842.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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