paean

noun
pae·​an | \ ˈpē-ən How to pronounce paean (audio) \

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

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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.

Examples of paean in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Too many of his stories are paternalistic, moralistic paeans to white heteronormativity. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "Did Nicholas Sparks Kill The Notebook? Or, Was It Always Doomed?," 25 June 2019 Jeweler Marco Bicego’s collections are often paeans to landscapes around the world: His Siviglia pieces feature beads that mimic the cobblestone streets of Seville, Spain, while the Jaipur set borrows the Indian city’s vibrant colors. Christopher Ross, WSJ, "Marco Bicego’s Unico Necklaces," 28 May 2019 The occasion was the launch of Queens, Alta Moda Di Dolce & Gabbana (Assouline), a glossy paean to the house’s most unabashedly glamorous clientele. Marley Marius, Vogue, "Queens, Alta Moda Di Dolce & Gabbana," 13 Mar. 2019 The chapter by Matt Hancock, the health secretary, is shockingly bad: a predictable paean of praise to technological innovation bereft of interesting examples and written in a succession of clichés. The Economist, "On Britain beyond Brexit and the future of Conservatism," 18 June 2019 Ever since, paeans to her have been a motif of black music and letters. New York Times, "Overlooked No More: Ma Rainey, the ‘Mother of the Blues’," 12 June 2019 Much of Flake’s book (including the title) is a paean to Goldwater, and the young Flake in fact served as executive director of the Goldwater Institute think tank in the 1990s. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Jeff Flake’s Brett Kavanaugh delay, and difficult history with Trump, explained," 28 Sep. 2018 Valentine’s Day movies: The Love Witch Anna Biller’s feminist, campy homage to ’60s horror and love-potion plots is a gory paean to female intuition and a subversion of the archetype of the evil witch. Vogue, "These Are the Best Anti–Valentine’s Day Movies to Make You Very Glad You’re Single," 12 Feb. 2019 The stories of Better Worlds are not intended to be conflict-free utopias or Pollyanna-ish paeans about how tech will solve everything; many are set in societies where people face challenges, sometimes life-threatening ones. The Verge, "Better Worlds," 5 Dec. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of paean

1589, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for paean

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

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Dictionary Entries near paean

paduasoy

Paduca

Paducah

paean

paedagogy

paediatric

paedicatio

Statistics for paean

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for paean

The first known use of paean was in 1589

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More Definitions for paean

paean

noun

English Language Learners Definition of paean

literary : a song of joy, praise, or victory

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More from Merriam-Webster on paean

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with paean

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for paean

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about paean

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