\ ˈhim \

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 \; hymning\ ˈhi-​miŋ \

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 \ adjective

Examples of hymn in a Sentence


sing a hymn of praise our Sunday church services always open with a hymn


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 Kensington Palace was not singing from the same hymn sheet, and that was because the message was coming from Meghan. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Is Taking a Firm Stance on How to Deal with Her Dad's Behavior," 20 Dec. 2018 Some people on Twitter, however, weren't as supportive of her take on the hymn. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'The Voice' Star Sarah Grace Sparks Controversy with Soulful Cover of 'Amazing Grace'," 4 Dec. 2018 No one knows how many of the roughly 10,000 Shaker hymns have echoed off these walls. Patricia Harris And David Lyon, BostonGlobe.com, "Goin’ up the country: The rustic appeal of Maine’s Route 26," 21 June 2018 With a full choir performing hymns, a forest of pine trees, and calligraphers crafting handmade cards, there was plenty for guests to take in—but the evening’s biggest thrill came courtesy of the campaign’s stars. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Naomi Campbell and Matt Smith Toast Burberry’s Holiday Campaign in New York," 20 Nov. 2018 The vows are one of the final parts of the wedding, before the prayers, the blessing and a final hymn. Diana Pearl, PEOPLE.com, "Read Every Romantic Word of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Royal Wedding Vows," 19 May 2018 The couple also chose two hymns, two lessons and two anthems for the occasion. Nardine Saad, latimes.com, "Britain's Prince Louis is christened in London," 9 July 2018 An eminent, plush-toned vocalist and pianist, Mr. Sneed has a broad repertoire, encompassing Christian hymns and modern gospel, jazz standards and Western classical. New York Times, "13 Pop, Rock and Jazz Concerts to Check Out in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 28 June 2018 In a service punctuated by Arabic chant, Aramaic prayer and Catholic hymn, Francis said the Orthodox and Catholic leaders wanted to give voice to those who have none. Washington Post, "Pope denounces ‘murderous indifference’ by powers in Mideast," 7 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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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Statistics for hymn

Last Updated

7 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for hymn

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

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More Definitions for hymn



English Language Learners Definition of hymn

: a religious song : a song that praises God


\ ˈhim \

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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