Definition of paean
- unite their voices in a great paean to liberty
- —Edward Sackville-West
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
his retirement party featured many paeans for his long years of service to the company
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.
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.
First Known Use: 1589See Words from the same year
What made you want to look up paean? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).