Definition of encomium
: 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
the encomiums bestowed on a teacher at her retirement ceremonies
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
First Known Use: 1567
Synonym Discussion of encomium
Seen and Heard
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