1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Holocaust

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HOLOCAUST (Gr. ‘ολοκαυστον, or ‘ολοκαυτον, wholly burnt), strictly a sacrifice wholly destroyed by fire, such as the sacrifices of the Jews, described in the Pentateuch as “whole burnt offerings” (see Sacrifice). The term is now often applied to a catastrophe on a large scale, whether by fire or not, or to a massacre or slaughter.