pan·​e·​gy·​ric ˌpa-nə-ˈjir-ik How to pronounce panegyric (audio) -ˈjī-rik How to pronounce panegyric (audio)
: a eulogistic oration or writing
composed a panegyric about Tchaikovsky for the concert program
also : formal or elaborate praise
panegyrical adjective
panegyrically adverb

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On certain fixed dates throughout the year, the ancient Greeks would come together for religious meetings. Such gatherings could range from hometown affairs to great national assemblies, but large or small, the meeting was called a panēgyris. That name comes from pan, meaning "all," and agyris, meaning "assembly." At those assemblies, speakers provided the main entertainment, and they delivered glowing orations extolling the praises of present civic leaders and reliving the past glories of Greek cities. To the Greeks, those laudatory speeches were panēgyrikos, which means "of or for a panēgyris." Latin speakers ultimately transformed panēgyrikos into the noun panegyricus, and English speakers adapted that Latin term to form panegyric.

Choose the Right Synonym for panegyric

encomium, eulogy, panegyric, tribute, citation mean a formal expression of praise.

encomium implies enthusiasm and warmth in praising a person or a thing.

received encomiums from literary critics

eulogy applies to a prepared speech or writing extolling the virtues and services of a person.

delivered the eulogy at the funeral service

panegyric suggests an elaborate often poetic compliment.

her lyrical memoir was a panegyric to her mentor

tribute implies deeply felt praise conveyed either through words or through a significant act.

the concert was a musical tribute to the early jazz masters

citation applies to the formal praise of a person offered in a military dispatch or in awarding an honorary degree.

earned a citation for bravery

Examples of panegyric in a Sentence

wrote a panegyric on the centennial of the Nobel laureate's birth
Recent Examples on the Web For example, Kenneth Khachigian, chief speechwriter for former President Ronald Reagan, wrote a panegyric about her for The Wall Street Journal, which went so far as to compare her to the Gipper. Robert Robb, CNN, 31 Oct. 2022 At Night Market, a young Filipina chef named Strawberry conjured a mouthwatering panegyric to Middle East cuisine. Christopher P. Baker, Travel + Leisure, 2 Mar. 2022 Leave it to Grant Park Music Festival artistic director Carlos Kalmar to make sense of a head-scratcher of a season closer: A sprawling, somewhat obscure military panegyric by Handel. Hannah Edgar,, 21 Aug. 2021 Yet, once the protagonist Vellitt Boe leaves her capricious, cruel fantasy realm behind, there follows a panegyric to this world. Siddhartha Deb, The New Republic, 19 Mar. 2021 As this panegyric suggests, Charles’s political career in the United States was dead on arrival. David Klion, The New Republic, 24 Sep. 2019 And all of the above is unbeknownst to Grace, who, in her speech at the wedding feast, delivers a panegyric to her parents for their total fabulosity, and whose life is about to be upended. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 9 Aug. 2019 Schlesinger’s liberal panegyrics can still be read with pleasure, even if one winces at his reluctance to abide any serious criticism of his idols. Michael Kazin, New York Times, 2 Nov. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'panegyric.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin panegyricus, from Greek panēgyrikos, from panēgyrikos of or for a festival assembly, from panēgyris festival assembly, from pan- + agyris assembly; akin to Greek ageirein to gather

First Known Use

1603, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of panegyric was in 1603


Dictionary Entries Near panegyric

Cite this Entry

“Panegyric.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


pan·​e·​gy·​ric ˌpan-ə-ˈjir-ik How to pronounce panegyric (audio) -ˈjī-rik How to pronounce panegyric (audio)
: formal or elaborate praise

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