dox·​ol·​o·​gy | \ däk-ˈsä-lə-jē How to pronounce doxology (audio) \
plural doxologies

Definition of doxology

: a usually liturgical expression of praise to God

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Doxology passed into English from Medieval Latin doxologia, which in turn comes from the Greek term doxa, meaning "opinion" or "glory," and the suffix -logia, which refers to oral or written expression. It's logical enough, therefore, that "doxology" has referred to an oral expression of praise and glorification since it first appeared in English around 1645. The word ultimately derives from the Greek verb dokein, meaning "to seem" or "to seem good." Two cousins of "doxology" via "dokein" are "dogma" and "paradox." More distant relatives include "decent" and "synecdoche." The Gloria in Excelsis and the Gloria Patri are two of the best-known and most often sung doxologies in contemporary Christianity.

First Known Use of doxology

circa 1645, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for doxology

Medieval Latin doxologia, from Late Greek, from Greek doxa opinion, glory (from dokein to seem, seem good) + -logia -logy — more at decent

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The first known use of doxology was circa 1645

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Cite this Entry

“Doxology.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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