can·​ti·​cle | \ ˈkan-ti-kəl How to pronounce canticle (audio) \

Definition of canticle

: song specifically : one of several liturgical songs (such as the Magnificat) taken from the Bible

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for canticle


anthem, carol, chorale, hymn, psalm, spiritual

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of canticle in a Sentence

the monks offered up a canticle at dawn on Easter morning

Recent Examples on the Web

Ancestor Glade is home to a rare canticle tree, the bark of which attracts a whisper of moths to aid you in deciphering an ancient Elder Scroll. Cian Maheer, Washington Post, "From Ancestor Glade to Hyrule Castle, these are the eight wonders of the virtual world," 4 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'canticle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of canticle

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for canticle

Middle English, from Latin canticulum, diminutive of canticum song, from cantus, past participle of canere

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about canticle

Statistics for canticle

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for canticle

The first known use of canticle was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for canticle



English Language Learners Definition of canticle

: a song that has words from the Bible and that is used in Christian church services

More from Merriam-Webster on canticle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for canticle Encyclopedia article about canticle

Comments on canticle

What made you want to look up canticle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a usually brief trip or an expedition

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!