\ ˈhim How to pronounce hymn (audio) \

Definition of hymn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a song of praise to God sing a hymn of thanksgiving
b : a metrical composition adapted for singing in a religious service a book of hymns
2 : a song of praise or joy in jolly hymns they praise the god of wine— John Dryden
3 : something resembling a song of praise : paean The novel is a hymn to childhood and innocence.


hymned\ ˈhimd How to pronounce hymned (audio) \; hymning\ ˈhi-​miŋ How to pronounce hymning (audio) \

Definition of hymn (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to praise or worship in or as if in hymns (see hymn entry 1) the heroes who are hymned in this book

intransitive verb

: to sing a song that praises God : to sing a hymn listening to the choir hymn

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Other Words from hymn


hymnlike \ ˈhim-​ˌlīk How to pronounce hymnlike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of hymn in a Sentence

Noun sing a hymn of praise our Sunday church services always open with a hymn Verb during the honeymoon following the inauguration, newspaper articles seemed to hymn the president's every move
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But the cheerful melody of the hymn couldn’t mask the sorrow many of them felt. Javonte Anderson, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago Catholics grieve parish closings as archdiocese says consolidation is a springboard for renewal," 21 Nov. 2019 Beautiful hymns and chants, evoking rousing piety, were then composed to glorify his butchery and butcherer. Harish Pullanoor, Quartz India, "We, the permanent villains of Indian mythology, must reclaim our fallen icons," 30 Dec. 2019 For many, vocalized hymns, homilies, and prayers make up much of the experience of a typical religious service. Washington Post, "At Gallaudet University, deaf culture and faith mix," 28 Dec. 2019 In addition to hymns, spoken readings and testimonies, Christian worship focuses on the spoken word. Jana Bennett, The Conversation, "Deaf Christians often struggle to hear God’s word, but some find meaning in the richness of who they are," 26 Dec. 2019 The movie – glacial, searching and symphonic – is a hymn, or prayer, examining the nature of sacrifice. Jake Coyle, Detroit Free Press, "Terrence Malick’s ‘A Hidden Life’ is a hymn of defiance," 19 Dec. 2019 The sound of them banging on pots and pans rang throughout the city, a funeral hymn, a peaceful cry for justice, for equality. Alice Driver, Longreads, "My Spoon, Your Bullet," 18 Dec. 2019 When the schoolchildren, their parents and fellow parishioners at St. Thecla Church began singing an old Christian hymn, something changed. Javonte Anderson, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago Catholics grieve parish closings as archdiocese says consolidation is a springboard for renewal," 21 Nov. 2019 George and former senior pastors shepherded a special worship service and a former music director and church musicians led churchgoers though classic and contemporary hymns and songs. Rachel K. Hindery, chicagotribune.com, "Bethany Baptist in Harwood Heights celebrates 40 years of ministry since its creation by a merger," 25 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Rogers was a benevolent, ditty-dispensing educator in civic virtue and human tolerance, who hymned the miracles of beautiful days and kindly friends, while acknowledging the fallibility of us all. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: ‘American Utopia’ Is David Byrne’s Neighborhood," 20 Oct. 2019 But the wounds sustained and inflicted by cheating hearts, so often hymned by Nashville balladeers, are a specialty of Mr. Lonergan. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Shame and Guilt Drives Several New Productions, Which Is Good for Us," 18 Feb. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hymn.' 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 hymn


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1667, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for hymn

Noun and Verb

Middle English ymne, from Old English ymen, from Latin hymnus song of praise, from Greek hymnos

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Time Traveler for hymn

Time Traveler

The first known use of hymn was before the 12th century

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Statistics for hymn

Last Updated

21 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hymn.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hymn. Accessed 24 January 2020.

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More Definitions for hymn


How to pronounce hymn (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hymn

: a religious song : a song that praises God


\ ˈhim How to pronounce hymn (audio) \

Kids Definition of hymn

: a song of praise especially to God

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More from Merriam-Webster on hymn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hymn

Spanish Central: Translation of hymn

Nglish: Translation of hymn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hymn for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hymn

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a feeling of well-being or elation

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