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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from hymn


hymnlike \ ˈhim-​ˌlīk How to pronounce hymn (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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun What a much-loved hymn can tell us about our country. Dominic Pino, National Review, 4 July 2021 Thus, a song drunkenly belted out at West Virginia University tailgates was transmuted into an aspirational, mythological hymn. Jason Jeong, The Atlantic, 4 May 2021 But it was originally written as a hymn and is Christian at its core. Dominic Pino, National Review, 4 July 2021 The performance is followed by a second music video in Thai and a third in Dutch before viewing congregants are asked to sing a hymn in their own language. Kaitlyn Bancroft, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 July 2021 In the main sanctuary, Nellie, the church pianist, played a quiet hymn. Greg Jaffe, Washington Post, 24 May 2021 Is this a requiem for the American family, or a hymn to its battered resilience? Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2021 This year’s ceremony will feature an opening hymn, the national anthem and Pledge of Allegiance, a dove release, police pipe and drum corps, closing prayer and more. Brett Shweky, sun-sentinel.com, 13 May 2021 It’s not a cover, but a hymn of its own, and the best expression of the magic that Ingram, Lambert, and Randall found out in Marfa. Justin Curto, Vulture, 7 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But this wasn’t a flattening of hierarchies of the sort long hymned in Silicon Valley reveries of the online demos. Nathaniel Friedman, The New Republic, 21 Oct. 2019 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, 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, 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About hymn

Time Traveler for hymn

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near hymn




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for hymn

Last Updated

18 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hymn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hymn. Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for hymn



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

More from Merriam-Webster on hymn

Nglish: Translation of hymn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hymn for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hymn


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!