ser·​mon | \ˈsər-mən \

Definition of sermon 

1 : a religious discourse delivered in public usually by a member of the clergy as a part of a worship service

2 : a speech on conduct or duty

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Other Words from sermon

sermonic \ˌsər-​ˈmä-​nik \ adjective

Synonyms for sermon



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Examples of sermon in a Sentence

He preached a sermon on the importance of kindness. Dad gave me a sermon yesterday about doing my homework.

Recent Examples on the Web

In 1956, Chess Records, which had been recording Rev. Franklin’s sermons, released an album of Aretha, then 14 years old, singing nine gospel hymns. Constance Grady, Vox, "Aretha Franklin, the legendary Queen of Soul, is dead at 76," 16 Aug. 2018 Brown, who is up for re-election in November, was specifically named by Graham at a sermon to more than 12,000 people near Portland on Sunday, Willamette Week reported. Andrew Selsky, Fox News, "Evangelist seeks prayer for yoga-practicing Oregon governor," 9 Aug. 2018 All throughout his 75 minute set, Pitbull preached a sermon of inclusivity and open mindedness. Dan Deluca,, "Pitbull lights up the Ben Franklin Parkway on the 4th of July," 4 July 2018 Fazlullah was known as a hardliner who broadcast fiery sermons and hard-line ideology via an extremist radio station. Euan Mckirdy, CNN, "Pakistan claims US drone strike kills Pakistan Taliban leader," 15 June 2018 Paige Patterson, the central figure in the most prominent of the SBC’s #MeToo cases, had been scheduled to deliver the featured sermon at the national meeting. Washington Post, "#MeToo cases in the spotlight as Southern Baptists convene," 12 June 2018 Bishop Michael Curry, the first African-American head of the Episcopal Church in the United States, who gave the powerful sermon, summed up the event's appeal. Katie Hunt, CNN, "Royal Family expresses thanks after Harry and Meghan's radical day," 20 May 2018 The chapel’s choir will perform and Rev. Michael Bruce Curry of Chicago, the head of the Episcopal Church, will give a sermon. Nardine Saad,, "What time is the royal wedding? Everything you need to know about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's big day," 18 May 2018 Deacon Willie Fred Hardy listens intently as Gray asks about family and parish members and recent sermons. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "A daughter of Detroit defies odds, takes car industry into the future," 13 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of sermon

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sermon

Middle English, from Anglo-French sermun, from Medieval Latin sermon-, sermo, from Latin, speech, conversation, from serere to link together — more at series

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Statistics for sermon

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for sermon

The first known use of sermon was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for sermon



English Language Learners Definition of sermon

: a speech about a moral or religious subject that is usually given by a religious leader

: a serious talk about how someone should behave


ser·​mon | \ˈsər-mən \

Kids Definition of sermon

1 : a speech usually by a priest, minister, or rabbi for the purpose of giving religious instruction

2 : a serious talk to a person about his or her conduct

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More from Merriam-Webster on sermon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sermon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sermon

Spanish Central: Translation of sermon

Nglish: Translation of sermon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sermon for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sermon

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living or existing for a long time

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