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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English.


hooly (comparative hoolier, superlative hooliest)

  1. (archaic) Holy.

Etymology 2Edit



  1. (archaic, Scotland) Wholly; all the way.
    • c. 1500, Henry VII, The Will of King Henry VII, 1775, The Will of King Henry VII, page 6,
      [] bee by our Executours hooly and perfitely finiſshed in every behalve, after the maner and fourme before rehersed, and futingly to that that is begoune and doon of theim.
    • 1834, Noctes Ambrosionæ No. LXIX, Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 36, page 832,
      This couldna hae lasted abune some ten minutes or less, when he began to wax weakish, and to stay rather langer at a time aneath than seemed consistent wi' prudence; sae I walked hooly doon to the bank, and cried on him to come oot, unless he was set on felo-de-se.
    • 1840, Joanna Baillie, Hooly and Fairly, Fugitive Verses, 1851, The Dramatic and Poetical Works of Joanna Baillie, 2nd Edition, page 819,
      O, gin my wife wad drink hooly and fairly!
  2. (archaic, Scotland) Softly; carefully.

See alsoEdit

Middle EnglishEdit



  1. Alternative form of holy (sacred)
    • 1380, John Wycliffe (translator), Matthew: I, Bible, 1810, The New Testament, page 4,
      But while he thougte these thingis: Lo the aungel of the Lord apperid in slep to him and seide Joseph the sone of David nyle thou drede to take Marie thy wyf, for that thing that is born in hir is of the hooly Goost.
    • late 14th c. Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales. General Prologue: 17-18.
      The hooly blisful martir for to seke
      That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seeke.
      The holy blessed martyr there to seek
      Who helped them when they lay so ill and weak