homily

noun
hom·​i·​ly | \ ˈhä-mə-lē How to pronounce homily (audio) \
plural homilies

Definition of homily

1 : a usually short sermon a priest delivering his homily
2 : a lecture or discourse on or of a moral theme
3 : an inspirational catchphrase also : platitude

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Synonyms for homily

Synonyms

sermon

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Homily Has Greek Roots

Gather around for the history of homily. The story starts with ancient Greek homilos, meaning "crowd" or "assembly." Greeks used homilos to create the verb homilein ("to consort with" or "to address"), as well as the noun homilia ("conversation"). Latin speakers borrowed homilia, then passed it on to Anglo-French. By the time it crossed into Middle English, the spelling had shifted to omelie, but by the mid-16th century the term had regained its "h" and the "y" of the modern spelling was added.

Examples of homily in a Sentence

The priest gave a brief homily on forgiveness. We had to listen to another one of his homilies about the value of public service. a politician with a fondness for homily
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Recent Examples on the Web

The book’s tone alternates, sometimes within a single paragraph, between the citation-heavy pop psychology of a TED talk and the aw-shucks wisdom of a homily at a prosperous stone church in a D.C. suburb. Jacob Bacharach, The New Republic, "David Brooks’s Moral Journey," 5 June 2019 The homily on Wednesday was given by Rev. Michael G. Ryan, pastor of the cathedral. Erik Lacitis, The Seattle Times, "Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen remembered for his humanity, humility and kindness," 6 Aug. 2018 Princess Beatrice read a passage from the book, and it was mentioned in the Dean of Windsor’s homily. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "The Top 5 Moments From Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s Royal Wedding," 12 Oct. 2018 There’s another twist here, maybe not so much an irony as a homily. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "The Best Film of 2018: Love in Many Forms," 17 Dec. 2018 Francis has refused to comment directly about Viganò’s claims, but nearly every day over the past two weeks his homily at morning Mass has seemed somewhat related to the scandal. Frank Miles, Fox News, "Pope to meet with head of US Bishops' Conference over sex abuse, cover-up scandal," 12 Sep. 2018 Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, who has spent years trying to recover the Irish church's credibility following decades of abuse and cover-up, dedicated his Sunday homily to Francis' Aug. 25-26 trip. Nicole Winfield, Fox News, "Irish archbishop urges pope to speak frankly about abuse," 19 Aug. 2018 With his popular online film reviews, political commentary and plain-English homilies, the 59-year old bishop has struck a nerve. Matthew Hennessey, WSJ, "The Bishop of Catholic Social Media," 29 Nov. 2018 How many of you pray for these women who are thrown away, for these women who are used, for these girls who have to sell their own dignity to have a job?’’ Francis asked during his morning homily Friday. Nicole Winfield, BostonGlobe.com, "Pope: Abortion is ‘white glove’ equivalent to Nazi crimes," 17 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of homily

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for homily

Middle English omelie, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin homilia, from Late Greek, from Greek, conversation, discourse, from homilein to consort with, address, from homilos crowd, assembly; akin to Greek homos same — more at same

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Dictionary Entries near homily

homilist

homilite

homilize

homily

homin-

hominal

homing instinct

Statistics for homily

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for homily

The first known use of homily was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for homily

homily

noun

English Language Learners Definition of homily

formal
: a usually short talk on a religious or moral topic
: advice that is often not wanted

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More from Merriam-Webster on homily

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Spanish Central: Translation of homily

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about homily

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