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American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. (European Myth & Legend) Also called: Grail or Sangraal (in medieval legend) the bowl used by Jesus at the Last Supper. It was allegedly brought to Britain by Joseph of Arimathea, where it became the quest of many knights
2. (Alternative Belief Systems) (in modern spirituality) a symbol of the spiritual wholeness that leads a person to union with the divine
3. informal any desired ambition or goal: the Holy Grail of infrared astronomy.
[C14 grail from Old French graal, from Medieval Latin gradālis bowl, of unknown origin]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
1. (usu. cap.) a cup or chalice that in medieval legend was associated with unusual powers and was much sought after by knights: identified with the cup used at the Last Supper and given to Joseph of Arimathea.
2. (sometimes cap.) any greatly desired and sought-after objective.Also called Holy Grail.
[1300–50; < Anglo-French grahel, Old French gräel, grel < Medieval Latin gradālis platter, of uncertain orig.]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.