1 of 2


: a song of praise to God
sing a hymn of thanksgiving
: a metrical composition adapted for singing in a religious service
a book of hymns
: a song of praise or joy
in jolly hymns they praise the god of wineJohn Dryden
: something resembling a song of praise : paean
The novel is a hymn to childhood and innocence.
hymnlike adjective


2 of 2


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

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

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Hanuman’s significance in Hinduism extends beyond hymns and celebrations to temples and murtis, or sacred depictions of Hindu deities. Aaron Boorstein, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Apr. 2024 Two high voices — LACO features soprano Amanda Forsythe and countertenor John Holiday — intertwine with the orchestra turning this hymn to the Virgin Mary’s suffering into unutterable sweetness and treating death as life’s engenderment. Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times, 30 Mar. 2024 Underwood has said her earliest music memories are from singing hymns in church. Brandee Gruener, Southern Living, 29 Mar. 2024 Worshipers then and now would recognize the stained glass and Greek mosaics, the Lenten hymns and prayers, and the Catholic priest in ceremonial vestments at the altar. Dan Horn, The Enquirer, 20 Mar. 2024 The kids, grouped in teams with names like Rascally Raccoons and Brave Bears, listened to Bible stories, played games, made their own canteens in craft class and sang hymns designed for young voices. Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 The chants and the hymns are ordered and peaceful, a recipe for beauty. Patrick Neas, Kansas City Star, 29 Mar. 2024 Last night, Zendaya and Florence Pugh – who rarely sing from the same hymn sheet – attended the Mexico premiere of Dune: Part Two in coordinating looks that were aligned not in aesthetic likeness but a certain eccentric spirit. Daniel Rodgers, Vogue, 7 Feb. 2024 Williams’ faith inspired her to write jazz hymns and jazz masses that were performed in Catholic churches throughout the States and in Europe. Amanda Rosa, Miami Herald, 1 Feb. 2024
Holst leaves the listener in the far removes of outer space, with Neptune being a study in musical mysticism, highlighted by a hidden hymning women’s chorus, as if heard from a mysterious distance. Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 15 Sep. 2023 His own work reflects a lifelong love of reading in many genres, and his books brim with the testimonies of poets, artists, and mystics who hymn the delights of sentience. Nick Romeo, The New Yorker, 15 Mar. 2023 Where waving woods and waters wild Do hymn an autumn sound. Rebekah Lowin, Country Living, 17 Aug. 2022 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hymn.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun and Verb

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

First Known Use


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


1667, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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

Dictionary Entries Near hymn

Cite this Entry

“Hymn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hymn. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a song of praise especially to God
: a religious song

More from Merriam-Webster on hymn

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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