also jehad, 1852, from Arabic, usually translated as "holy war," literally "struggle, contest, effort," from infinitive of jahada "he waged war, he applied himself to." Originally and for long in English purely in reference to the duty of religious war against unbelievers. Used in English since c. 1880 for any sort of doctrinal crusade. Related: Jihadi.
updated on February 29, 2016