\ 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 hymned (audio) \; hymning\ ˈhi-​miŋ How to pronounce hymning (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 hymnlike (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 In the afternoon, about 30 protesters gathered in snow flurries outside the state prison where Rhines was to be executed, praying and singing hymns. Dave Kolpack, Twin Cities, "South Dakota executes man in ’92 slaying of former co-worker," 5 Nov. 2019 Every movement needs an anthem, and the undisputed boomer backlash hymn is a song written and produced by Jonathan Williams, a 20-year-old college student. BostonGlobe.com, "In a viral audio clip on TikTok, a white-haired man in a baseball cap and polo shirt declares, “The millennials and Generation Z have the Peter Pan syndrome, they don’t ever want to grow up.”," 31 Oct. 2019 Then Sister Helen appears singing a hymn, which turns into a big number with children. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "How ‘Dead Man Walking’ became a 21st century American masterpiece on its way to the Lyric Opera," 16 Oct. 2019 Thousands of Sikhs arrived up in bright kurta pajamas (loose cotton shirts and pants) for Nagar Kirtan, an hours-long festival and procession where Sikhs sing hymns and carry their holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib, on a float. Jaweed Kaleem, latimes.com, "Behind the Story: On a search for Sikh truckers," 27 June 2019 Monday morning, Greek prayers and hymns played softly in the sanctuary. Javonte Anderson, chicagotribune.com, "Faithful see miracle in weeping icon of Mary with child Jesus at Greek Orthodox church on Northwest Side," 9 Sep. 2019 As Emma's white casket left St. Cunegunda, a final hymn swelled from the church organ above, carrying her into the sunny afternoon outside. Emma Keith, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit community mourns and remembers Emma Hernandez, 9, at funeral," 24 Aug. 2019 Combining church hymns, South African marabi and postmodern jazz, Mr. Ibrahim doesn’t play with obvious ease of motion. New York Times, "Abdullah Ibrahim: A Lifetime of Dreams and Resistance at the Piano," 31 July 2019 The state hymn of Rondonia takes pride in the region’s famously beautiful skies. Washington Post, "Bolsonaro says Amazon nations should decide region’s future," 29 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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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Statistics for hymn

Last Updated

11 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for hymn

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

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More Definitions for hymn


How to pronounce hymn (audio)

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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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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something of little or no value

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