hym·​nal | \ ˈhim-nəl \

Definition of hymnal

: a collection of church hymns

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Synonyms for hymnal


hymnary, hymnbook, psalmody

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Examples of hymnal in a Sentence

hymnals are distributed among the congregation before the church service so everyone can join in the singing

Recent Examples on the Web

The iconic crescendo three minutes in is a staggering and gut-wrenching hymnal of everlasting love. Natalie Maher, Harper's BAZAAR, "15 Love Songs That Will Sweep You Off Your Feet the Moment You Press Play," 9 Jan. 2019 Unlike modern hymnals, which are larger and heavier and more expensively produced, older hymnbooks were affordable and designed to be read. Barton Swaim, WSJ, "‘The Hymnal’ Review: How to Make a Joyful Noise," 23 Dec. 2018 Despite its growth in enrollment and in academic stature, Texas A&M has suffered from periods of discord where the system chancellor, the campus president and the regents didn’t all sing from the same hymnal. Andy Staples, SI.com, "The Message Behind the Money: How Texas A&M Landed Jimbo Fisher," 28 June 2018 The 65-year-old preacher quoted Martin Luther King, Jr. and referenced a hymnal sung by slaves in the antebellum South to talk about the power of love to change the world. Samantha Cooney, Time, "Rev. Michael Curry Delivered a Powerful Royal Wedding Sermon. Read the Full Transcript," 19 May 2018 While the hymnal has obvious Christian ties, community rights organizer Zilphia Horton helped popularize it during America’s civil rights movement, making it a significant choice for Markle to pick for her wedding. Lyndsey Matthews, Harper's BAZAAR, "All the Ways Meghan Markle Americanized the Royal Wedding Ceremony," 19 May 2018 Students at Duke protested the firings and even had boomboxes play Dolph’s lyrical hymnal. Stephen A. Crockett Jr., The Root, "Young Dolph Blessed the 2 Duke University Baristas Who Were Fired For Playing His Song ‘Get Paid’ With $20,000," 12 May 2018 But Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Joyce wasn’t singing from the same hymnal. Maureen Groppe, Indianapolis Star, "8 takeaways from Trump's speech at Elkhart rally," 11 May 2018 As the entrance hymn fills the sanctuary, Lambert Nieme is sitting next me, his hymnal open and resting evenly on two steady hands. Thomas Farragher, BostonGlobe.com, "As a child, he tended sheep in the Congo. Now, he’ll tend souls in Boston," 1 May 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hymnal

Middle English hymnale, from Medieval Latin, from Latin hymnus

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Dictionary Entries near hymnal






hymn board


Statistics for hymnal

Last Updated

6 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for hymnal

The first known use of hymnal was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of hymnal

: a book of hymns


hym·​nal | \ ˈhim-nəl \

Kids Definition of hymnal

: a book of hymns

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More from Merriam-Webster on hymnal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hymnal

Spanish Central: Translation of hymnal

Nglish: Translation of hymnal for Spanish Speakers

Comments on hymnal

What made you want to look up hymnal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express emotion in a dramatic way

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