en·​co·​mi·​um | \ en-ˈkō-mē-əm How to pronounce encomium (audio) \
plural encomiums also encomia\ en-​ˈkō-​mē-​ə How to pronounce encomium (audio) \

Definition of encomium

: glowing and warmly enthusiastic praise also : an expression of this

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Choose the Right Synonym for encomium

encomium, eulogy, panegyric, tribute, citation mean a formal expression of praise. encomium implies enthusiasm and warmth in praising a person or a thing. received encomiums from literary critics eulogy applies to a prepared speech or writing extolling the virtues and services of a person. delivered the eulogy at the funeral service panegyric suggests an elaborate often poetic compliment. her lyrical memoir was a panegyric to her mentor tribute implies deeply felt praise conveyed either through words or through a significant act. the concert was a musical tribute to the early jazz masters citation applies to the formal praise of a person offered in a military dispatch or in awarding an honorary degree. earned a citation for bravery

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The love of praise, howe're concealed by art / Reigns more or less, and glows in every heart. British writer Edward Young knew how much people love to hear praise - and so did the ancient Greeks, the originators of "encomium." They formalized that particular expression of praise and named it an "enkōmion," from their terms en, meaning "in," and kōmos, meaning "celebration." The original encomiums were eulogies or panegyrics, often ones prepared in honor of a victor in the Olympics. The term was later broadened to refer to any laudatory ode. Since then encomiums have been written praising everyone from Julius Caesar to Elton John, although not all have been entirely serious - one of the best known is the satirical "Moriae Encomium" ("Praise of Folly") by Erasmus.

Examples of encomium in a Sentence

the encomiums bestowed on a teacher at her retirement ceremonies
Recent Examples on the Web This encomium seems a little like awarding the season’s M.V.P. during spring training, simply because an intrepid player announces his plan to bat .400. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, 24 Dec. 2020 The encomiums his cheerleaders offer him, a veteran professional politician in a baggy suit, are as extreme as his ideas. The Economist, 23 Jan. 2020 Here’s a second reason for caution: Despite heady media claims that pizza is now being made by artificial intelligence (and a similar suggestion from the company itself), Picnic’s device doesn’t quite earn that encomium. Stephen L. Carterbloomberg, Houston Chronicle, 31 Jan. 2020 Certainly there was no evidence in its encomium to Koch. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 26 Aug. 2019 Such encomiums haven’t helped her popularity in her home state, though. oregonlive.com, 22 July 2019 Ralph Lauren is admired throughout the fashion industry as the quintessential American designer, and singer-songwriter John Legend’s success is evident from countless encomiums and a shelf full of awards. Kristina O’neill, WSJ, 8 Nov. 2018 But agreeing to write a Trump encomium for Time is a whole other thing. Chris Cillizza, CNN, 19 Apr. 2018 More problematic are the amateurish musical choices and the breathless encomiums on the soundtrack. Ty Burr, BostonGlobe.com, 4 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'encomium.' 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 encomium

1567, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for encomium

Latin, from Greek enkōmion, from en in + kōmos revel, celebration

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The first known use of encomium was in 1567

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Cite this Entry

“Encomium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/encomium. Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about encomium


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