noun en·co·mi·um \ en-ˈkō-mē-əm \

Definition of encomium

plural encomiums also encomia play \en-ˈkō-mē-ə\
: glowing and warmly enthusiastic praise; also : an expression of this

encomium was our Word of the Day on 10/26/2009. Hear the podcast!

Examples of encomium in a Sentence

  1. the encomiums bestowed on a teacher at her retirement ceremonies

Recent Examples of encomium from the Web

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

Did You Know?

The love of praise, howe're concealed by art / Reigns more or less, and glows in every heart. British writer Edward Young knew how much people love to hear praise - and so did the ancient Greeks, the originators of "encomium." They formalized that particular expression of praise and named it an "enkōmion," from their terms en, meaning "in," and kōmos, meaning "celebration." The original encomiums were eulogies or panegyrics, often ones prepared in honor of a victor in the Olympics. The term was later broadened to refer to any laudatory ode. Since then encomiums have been written praising everyone from Julius Caesar to Elton John, although not all have been entirely serious - one of the best known is the satirical "Moriae Encomium" ("Praise of Folly") by Erasmus.

Origin and Etymology of encomium

Latin, from Greek enkōmion, from en in + kōmos revel, celebration

Synonym Discussion of encomium

encomium, eulogy, panegyric, tribute, citation mean a formal expression of praise. encomium implies enthusiasm and warmth in praising a person or a thing.
    • received encomiums from literary critics
eulogy applies to a prepared speech or writing extolling the virtues and services of a person.
    • delivered the eulogy at the funeral service
panegyric suggests an elaborate often poetic compliment.
    • her lyrical memoir was a panegyric to her mentor
tribute implies deeply felt praise conveyed either through words or through a significant act.
    • the concert was a musical tribute to the early jazz masters
citation applies to the formal praise of a person offered in a military dispatch or in awarding an honorary degree.
    • earned a citation for bravery

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a simultaneous discharge of guns

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