Hol"o*caust (?), n. [L. holocaustum, Gr. , neut. of , , burnt whole; "o'los whole + kaysto`s burnt, fr. kai`ein to burn (cf. Caustic): cf. F. holocauste.]
A burnt sacrifice; an offering, the whole of which was consumed by fire, among the Jews and some pagan nations.
Sacrifice or loss of many lives, as by the burning of a theater or a ship. [An extended use not authorized by careful writers.]
© Webster 1913.