hom·​i·​let·​ic ˌhä-mə-ˈle-tik How to pronounce homiletic (audio)
variants or homiletical
: of, relating to, or resembling a homily
: of or relating to homiletics
also : preachy

Did you know?

Homiletic came to us by way of Latin from Greek homilētikos, meaning "affable" or "social." Homilētikos came from homilein, meaning "to talk with," "to address," or "to make a speech," which in turn came from homilos, the Greek word for "crowd" or "assembly." Homilos and homilein also gave English, by way of Latin homilia and French omelie, the word homily, which is used for a short sermon, a lecture on a moral theme, and an inspirational catchphrase or platitude. Like homily, homiletic focuses on the morally instructive nature of a discourse. Homiletic can also be used derogatorily in the sense of "preachy."

Examples of homiletic in a Sentence

tends to speak in homiletic aphorisms, which can be a little tiresome
Recent Examples on the Web The preacher’s experience, insights and emotions all come into play when composing the homiletic text. Joanne M. Pierce, The Conversation, 6 July 2023 There’s a word for this style of narrative preaching—homiletic. Jo Livingstone, The New Republic, 6 Apr. 2021 That interpretation of Kipling’s homiletic verse required her to overlook its gender-specific language, which is directed exclusively to boys who want to be men. Danny Heitman, The Christian Science Monitor, 15 July 2019 There was no Jesus in that house, no Bible, no devotional materials of any kind, no crucifixes or homiletic asides, nothing. Stephen Metcalf, The New Yorker, 19 May 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'homiletic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Late Latin homileticus, from Greek homilētikos of conversation, from homilein

First Known Use

1644, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of homiletic was in 1644


Dictionary Entries Near homiletic

Cite this Entry

“Homiletic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/homiletic. Accessed 26 Sep. 2023.

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