Word of the Day : January 18, 2018


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 an inspirational catchphrase or platitude. Like homily, homiletic focuses on the morally instructive nature of a discourse. Homiletic can also be used derogatorily in the sense of "preachy."


"The first part is full of homiletic insight, the second replete with postmodern angst, the third quite beautiful in its claim to faith—even the somewhat attenuated faith of our present age." — Paul Lakeland, Commonweal, 23 Apr. 2010

"Holbein was wonderfully fresh, but the concept stemmed from a 1280 poem, Le Dit des trois morts et les trois vifs, by Baudoin de Condé. Condé’s concept of a homiletic interchange between feckless living and ghastly dead transmuted swiftly into other languages and pictorial art across Europe." — Derek Turner, The New York Times, 5 Dec. 2017

Test Your Vocabulary

Fill in the blanks to complete an archaic word for a sermon: p _ _ d _ c _ _ _ on.



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