Pronunciation: (hol'u-kôst", hō'lu-), [key]
1. a great or complete devastation or destruction, esp. by fire.
2. a sacrifice completely consumed by fire; burnt offering.
3. (usually cap.) the systematic mass slaughter of European Jews in Nazi concentration camps during World War II (usually prec. by the).
4. any mass slaughter or reckless destruction of life.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.