\ 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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The hymn reminds Christians of the optimism and certainty that accompany a devout belief in the work and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Erica Armstrong Dunbar, The New York Review of Books, "A Praise House of Many Mansions," 13 Apr. 2021 His career was practically a hymn to the work ethic. Arn Tellem, Detroit Free Press, "Arn Tellem: This is what makes Detroit Pistons' Ben Wallace a no-brainer Hall of Famer," 11 Apr. 2021 The project’s origins began with Jordan’s friend Travis Howard, an L.A. songwriter-musician who invited him on a podcast to sing a hymn. Jon Freeman, Rolling Stone, "How Leslie Jordan Helped Us Survive Quarantine and Made a Gospel Album in the Process," 6 Apr. 2021 Two years later, the song was turned into a solemn hymn and sung at the Prather's funeral. Lauren M. Johnson, CNN, "A University of Texas report confirms its alma mater's complicated history but finds 'no racist intent'," 10 Mar. 2021 Composer Giuseppe Verdi was even asked to compose a hymn for the occasion. Los Angeles Times, "Dredgers try to free ship in Suez Canal, scene of plenty of past international drama," 26 Mar. 2021 In the expanded four-hour version streaming Thursday on HBO Max, villagers serenade the half-Atlantean's departure with a hymn of adoration. Darren Franich, EW.com, "Zack Snyder's Justice League is just as bad and twice as long: Review," 15 Mar. 2021 It’s a patient, achingly lovely hymn to reinvention, escape, community, and a different kind of living. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "And Now It’s Time to Actually See Nomadland, The Best Movie of the Year," 19 Feb. 2021 The Gophers used mailings and game programs to explain the hymn's significance to Black Americans and its place in their history. Rachel Blount, Star Tribune, "An anthem evolution: Minnesota colleges adapt as 'Star Spangled Banner' stirs dissimilar emotions," 13 Feb. 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, "Moments Without Truth," 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, "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

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hymn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hymn. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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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

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