paean

noun pae·an \ ˈpē-ən \
Updated on: 6 Nov 2017

Definition of paean

1 :a joyous song or hymn of praise, tribute, thanksgiving, or triumph
  • unite their voices in a great paean to liberty
  • —Edward Sackville-West
2 :a work that praises or honors its subject :encomium, tribute
  • wrote a paean to the queen on her 50th birthday

paean was our Word of the Day on 04/18/2010. Hear the podcast!

Examples of paean in a Sentence

  1. his retirement party featured many paeans for his long years of service to the company

Recent Examples of paean from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'paean.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

According to the poet Homer, the Greek god Apollo sometimes took the guise of Paean, physician to the gods. The earliest musical paeans were hymns of thanksgiving and praise that were dedicated to Apollo. They were sung at events ranging from boisterous festivals to public funerals, and were the traditional marching songs of armies heading into battle. Over time, the word became generalized, and it is now used for any kind of tribute.

Origin and Etymology of paean

Latin, hymn of thanksgiving especially addressed to Apollo, from Greek paian, paiōn, from Paian, Paiōn, epithet of Apollo in the hymn


PAEAN Defined for English Language Learners

paean

noun

Definition of paean for English Language Learners

  • : a song of joy, praise, or victory



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WORD OF THE DAY

to praise usually to excess

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