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

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of psalm in a Sentence

after the sermon we sang a brief psalm
Recent Examples on the Web Books of Hours are breviaries, or a selection of prayers and psalms taken from long prayer books used by monks. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "The Winter Show’s Many Small Treasures," 28 Jan. 2020 The temple will also hold singing, psalms, Torah study, healing services, office hours, and story time for children through Zoom calls. David Tarrant, Dallas News, "To prevent the spread of coronavirus in North Texas, Holy Week and Passover are going digital," 6 Apr. 2020 The psalm — often chanted or sung — was signed as well. Washington Post, "At Gallaudet University, deaf culture and faith mix," 28 Dec. 2019 The service includes prayers, remarks from family, eulogies from the rabbi and friends and family and a reading of psalms and prayers. USA TODAY, "Overview of religious funeral traditions," 24 Mar. 2020 Craig Armstrong's The Edge Of The Sea, featuring the Scottish Ensemble string orchestra and based around traditional Scottish Gaelic psalm singing, is also scheduled for next year. Richard Smirke, Billboard, "BMG Launches Modern Recordings, Its First New Label Since 2008 Relaunch," 14 Nov. 2019 Monks would be getting up at 1 in the morning to sing the psalms. Randy Dotinga, The Christian Science Monitor, "Scripture as an art form? Q&A with Karen Armstrong.," 22 Nov. 2019 Kyle Meyaard-Schaap, national organizer and spokesperson at Young Evangelicals for Climate Action (YECA), also points to the psalms, and the Old and New Testaments. Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, "The Green New Deal isn’t socialist, it’s “biblical,” argue evangelical environmentalists," 18 Sep. 2019 Journalist and wanderer, Ketcham has written a psalm to nature and a manifesto to stop the forces that are threatening a territory that stretches from Colorado to the Pacific Coast. Los Angeles Times, "Review: The American West is dying. Christopher Ketcham’s ‘This Land’ is a rallying cry to save it," 26 July 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about psalm

Time Traveler for psalm

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for psalm

Cite this Entry

“Psalm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for psalm


How to pronounce psalm (audio) How to pronounce psalm (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of psalm

: a song or poem used in worship and especially one from the Bible


\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on psalm

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for psalm

Spanish Central: Translation of psalm

Nglish: Translation of psalm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of psalm for Arabic Speakers

Comments on psalm

What made you want to look up psalm? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Thing: Animal Edition

  • alt 5a023732e6f75
  • Name that animal:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!