Etymology
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jihad (n.)

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

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Definitions of jihad from WordNet

jihad (n.)
a holy struggle or striving by a Muslim for a moral or spiritual or political goal;
Synonyms: jehad
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.