Word of the Day : August 24, 2011


adjective hah-muh-LET-ik


1 : of, relating to, or resembling a homily

2 : of or relating to the art of preaching; also : preachy

Did You Know?

"Homiletic" came to us by way of Latin from Greek "homilētikos," meaning "affable" or "social." "Homilētikos" came from "homilein," meaning "to talk with," "to address," or "to make a speech," which in turn came from "homilos," the Greek word for "crowd" or "assembly." "Homilos" and "homilein" also gave English, by way of Latin "homilia" and French "omelie," the word "homily," which is used for a short sermon, a lecture on a moral theme, and for an inspirational catchphrase or platitude. Like "homily," the English word "homiletic" focuses on the morally instructive nature of a discourse. "Homiletic" can also be used derogatorily in the sense of "preachy."


The lecturer sprinkled his talk with homiletic aphorisms.

"In clerical collar and vestments, Mr. Gomes was a figure of homiletic power in the pulpit, hammering out the cadences in a rich baritone that The New Yorker called a blend of James Earl Jones and John Houseman." -- From an article in The New York Times, March 2, 2011

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