si·​mo·​ny ˈsī-mə-nē How to pronounce simony (audio) ˈsi- How to pronounce simony (audio)
: the buying or selling of a church office or ecclesiastical preferment

Word History


Middle English symonie, from Anglo-French simonie, from Late Latin simonia, from Simon Magus, Samaritan sorcerer in Acts 8: 9–24

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of simony was in the 13th century

Cite this Entry

“Simony.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

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