noun, often capitalized
\ˈsäm, ˈsälm, ˈsȯm, ˈsȯlm \

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

In it, the rapper looks at a shifting America through fresh eyes and emerges with a manifesto of sorts; these are trap-psalms for the forgotten. Juan Vidal, Billboard, "Lecrae on New Album 'Let the Trap Say Amen' & The True Heart of the South," 19 June 2018 In the painting’s foreground, St. Thomas Aquinas, intellectual-in-chief of the Dominican order, holds out an open book of psalms to us like a maître-d’ offering a menu. New York Times, "Review: Art for the Soul in ‘Fra Angelico: Heaven on Earth’," 16 May 2018 Back then, the Presbyterian church permitted only more modest music — psalms only. Christina Tkacik,, "Piano 'marathon' highlights classical music's enduring appeal," 7 May 2018 Each of the three movements includes a full psalm along with contrasting parts of another. Mark Swed,, "The L.A. Phil's Bernstein and Beethoven peace project," 20 Apr. 2018 Chris Freeman To select these particular psalms, Baumgarten turned to her parents, Murray and Sheila Baumgarten, who are Judaic scholars, for help. Diana Dunbar, miamiherald, "Dance Now! Miami: A sense of tranquility and communality | Miami Herald," 17 Apr. 2018 Leading polls is Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz, a former preacher and psalm singer with the evangelical National Restoration Party who has forged a union between the country’s conservative Catholics and its growing evangelical population. José De Córdoba, WSJ, "Costa Rica Election Hinges on Gay Rights," 31 Mar. 2018 Karis Jagger and Ellen Barkin shared poems, Jade Jagger and Mick's grandchildren, Mazie and Zak, read psalms, and Scott's niece Hannah read Sonnet 18. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "24 HOURS WITH L'WREN SCOTT," 27 Mar. 2014 But those words were eventually rendered invisible in the 11th century when the text was written over with Christian psalms. Julissa Treviño, Smithsonian, "High-Powered X-Rays Reveal What’s Beneath 11th-Century Religious Text," 15 Mar. 2018

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

Dictionary Entries near psalm








Statistics for psalm

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for psalm

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for psalm



English Language Learners Definition of psalm

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


\ˈsäm, 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

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).


noxious or harmful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a-traditional-thanksgiving-dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!