noun, often capitalized
\ ˈsäm How to pronounce psalm (audio) , ˈsälm, ˈsȯm, ˈsȯlm How to pronounce psalm (audio) \

Definition of psalm

: a sacred song or poem used in worship especially : one of the biblical hymns collected in the Book of Psalms

Examples of psalm in a Sentence

after the sermon we sang a brief psalm
Recent Examples on the Web As the queen’s coffin is lowered into the royal vault, the Dean of Windsor will say a psalm and the commendation before Garter King of Arms pronounces the queen’s styles and titles. WSJ, 19 Sep. 2022 Singer Karen Matheson will sing a psalm in Gaelic and readings will be made by the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Most Rev. Leo Cushley and Most Rev Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross & Caithness, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church. Jean-nicholas Fievet, NBC News, 12 Sep. 2022 Changing keys requires retying them all—impossible for monks who must not only pray a half-dozen times a day but constantly rotate through the twelve canonical psalm tones. Julian Lucas, The New Yorker, 29 Aug. 2022 The swirled pastel marble print and psalm inscription makes this a stylish choice to tote around all day long. Jamie Kravitz, Woman's Day, 3 Aug. 2022 The more psalm-like accompaniments outweigh the purpler prose. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, 21 Dec. 2021 Notes includes a wide range of comedy genres, spanning Lennon Parham’s holy psalm to Target to Karen Chee’s bullet-point list of reasons why her mom is calling. Sarah Moroz, Vulture, 2 July 2021 Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern read a psalm at the service, which was attended by several hundred mourners including Parliament Speaker Trevor Mallard. Nick Perry, Star Tribune, 21 Apr. 2021 The Salvadoran migrant has held onto Jill Biden’s words like a psalm. Washington Post, 2 Dec. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of psalm

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for psalm

Middle English, from Old English psealm, from Late Latin psalmus, from Greek psalmos, literally, twanging of a harp, from psallein to pluck, play a stringed instrument

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

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Last Updated

21 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Psalm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for psalm


\ ˈsäm How to pronounce psalm (audio) , ˈsälm \

Kids Definition of psalm

1 : a sacred song or poem
2 capitalized : one of the hymns that make up the Old Testament Book of Psalms

More from Merriam-Webster on psalm

Nglish: Translation of psalm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of psalm for Arabic Speakers


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