homily

noun
hom·​i·​ly | \ˈhä-mə-lē \
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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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

In an Easter Vigil homily Saturday, Pope Francis urged Roman Catholics to not remain paralyzed in the face of injustices. Roman Catholic, Fox News, "Pope Francis in Easter Vigil baptizes 8, including beggar turned hero," 1 Apr. 2018 Along with a sense of accomplishment, Schultz said his 99 triathlons have provided him with more than a few subjects for homilies. Steve Sadin, chicagotribune.com, "Mass start: Schiller Park priest set to compete in 100th triathlon," 11 July 2018 For young Eddy, the harrowing experience of his mother killing his father is the jumping-off point for his homilies on overcoming adversity, dealing with the ups and downs of life and not letting the hand you're dealt determine your fate. Kim Chatelain, NOLA.com, "Biting the bullet of faith: Deacon Eddy's story," 1 Apr. 2018 The book is messy as hell: full of insipid platitudes, trite homilies, and self-regarding detours delivered with the assurance of a man who fully expects to see his childhood finger paintings in a museum someday. Laurie Penny, Longreads, "Peterson’s Complaint," 12 July 2018 Bishop Curry stands in the lineage of Black prophetic preachers like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Bookending his homily with Dr. King’s words, Bishop Curry reminded us that Black preachers have always challenged the world to be better. Candice Benbow, Glamour, "My Bishop, Most Rev. Michael Curry, Just Changed the History of Royal Weddings—Here's Why His Sermon Matters," 19 May 2018 The script by Erin Simms and first-time director Bill Holderman leans on easy laughs, superficial homilies, and generic upscale décor, and there isn’t a genuine moment in it. Ty Burr, BostonGlobe.com, "Stars — and audience — deserve better than ‘Book Club’," 17 May 2018 In homilies and widely broadcast radio shows, Romero implored the government to do more for the poor and criticized the repressive tactics of the military. Esmeralda Bermudez, latimes.com, "He championed the poor and was killed by a death squad in El Salvador. Decades later, Archbishop Oscar Romero will be made a saint," 8 Mar. 2018 Bernice King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., praised American Episcopalian preacher Bishop Michael Curry's stirring homily at the ceremony, which opened with a quote from her father. Kara Fox, CNN, "'Breathtaken' and 'blessed': the world reacts to the royal wedding," 19 May 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

16 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

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

: 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for homily

Spanish Central: Translation of homily

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about homily

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