noun, often capitalized \ˈsäm, ˈsälm, ˈsm, ˈslm\

: a song or poem used in worship and especially one from the Bible

Full Definition of PSALM

:  a sacred song or poem used in worship; especially :  one of the biblical hymns collected in the Book of Psalms

Examples of PSALM

  1. <after the sermon we sang a brief psalm>

Origin of PSALM

Middle English, from Old English psealm, from Late Latin psalmus, from Greek psalmos, literally, twanging of a harp, from psallein to pluck, play a stringed instrument
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Music Terms

cacophony, chorister, concerto, counterpoint, madrigal, obbligato, presto, presto, refrain, riff, segue

Rhymes with PSALM


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Sacred song or poem. The term is most widely known from the book of Psalms in the Bible. Its 150 psalms, ranging in subject from songs of joyous faith and thanksgiving to songs of bitter protest and lamentation, rank among the immortal poems of all time. They have had a profound influence on the liturgies of Judaism and Christianity. Their dating and authorship are highly problematic, and the tradition of assigning them to King David is no longer accepted. In the original Hebrew text the book had no name. When the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek (the Septuagint), it was titled Psalterion, referring to a stringed instrument that would accompany such songs.


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