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Expression of agreement or confirmation used in worship by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The word derives from a Semitic root meaning fixed or sure. The Greek Old Testament usually translates it as so be it; in the English Bible it is often translated as verily or truly. By the 4th century BC, it was a common response to a doxology or other prayer in the Jewish temple liturgy. By the 2nd century AD, Christians had adopted it in the liturgy of the Eucharist, and in Christian worship a final amen now often sums up and confirms a prayer or hymn. Though less common in Islam, it is used after reading of the first sura.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on amen, visit Britannica.com.