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90s Slang You Should Know


[hom-uh-lee] /ˈhɒm ə li/
noun, plural homilies.
a sermon, usually on a Biblical topic and usually of a nondoctrinal nature.
an admonitory or moralizing discourse.
an inspirational saying or cliché.
Origin of homily
1545-55; < Late Latin homīlia < Greek homīlía assembly, sermon, equivalent to hómīl(os) crowd (hom(oû) together + -īlos, masculine combining form of ī́lē (feminine) crowd) + -ia -y3; replacing Middle English omelie < Middle French < Latin, as above
Can be confused
homely, homily. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for homily
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In passing sentence Judge Nelson addressed to the prisoner a homily which created a deep impression upon the crowded court room.

    The Story of Cooperstown Ralph Birdsall
  • Very greatly, good mother; never heard I before a homily so brave.

    Mistress Margery Emily Sarah Holt
  • Otherwise we impart to the novel the tediousness of a homily without its accepted authority.

    James Fenimore Cooper Thomas R. Lounsbury
  • Every sagacious cast for a title will be to her a homily on content.

  • And now, with my colleagues as texts, I shall read a homily on the conditions of modern dramatic art.

    An Ocean Tramp William McFee
  • Having delivered this homily she took a tone of brisk cheerfulness.

    The Dust Flower Basil King
  • A little while since some amongst you preached a homily upon the beauties of poverty.

British Dictionary definitions for homily


noun (pl) -lies
a sermon or discourse on a moral or religious topic
moralizing talk or writing
Derived Forms
homilist, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Church Latin homīlia, from Greek: discourse, from homilein to converse with, from homilos crowd, from homou together + ilē crowd
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for homily

late 14c., omelye, from Old French omelie (12c., Modern French homélie), from Church Latin homilia "a homily, sermon," from Greek homilia "conversation, discourse," used in New Testament Greek for "sermon," from homilos "an assembled crowd," from homou "together" (from PIE *somo-, from root *sem- (1) "one, as one, together with;" see same) + ile "troop" (cognate with Sanskrit melah "assembly," Latin miles "soldier"). Latinate form restored in English 16c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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