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[him] /hɪm/
a song or ode in praise or honor of God, a deity, a nation, etc.
something resembling this, as a speech, essay, or book in praise of someone or something.
verb (used with object)
to praise or celebrate in a hymn; express in a hymn.
verb (used without object)
to sing hymns.
Origin of hymn
before 1000; < Latin hymnus < Greek hýmnos song in praise of gods or heroes; replacing Middle English ymne (< Old French) and Old English ymn (< Late Latin ymnus)
Related forms
[him-er, -ner] /ˈhɪm ər, -nər/ (Show IPA),
hymnlike, adjective
unhymned, adjective
Can be confused
him, hymn.
1. anthem, psalm, paean. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hymn
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The hymn, the portion of Scripture, and the prayer of Brother Buster.

  • After about twenty minutes, he ceased, saying, "We will now sing a hymn."

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • Now we know a proper evening hymn, and you may go quickly to rest, my children.

    Rico and Wiseli Johanna Spyri
  • The latter, who had given out the hymn, was a man of very different caliber.

  • Then the sailors sang a hymn of praise, and the hymn was of the king and to the king.

  • Sweet smoke was curling upward, and the room rang with a hymn.

    Buried Cities, Part 2 Jennie Hall
  • Then they went through the service together, from hymn and prayer to the sermon.

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
  • Shall we then put up a hymn, and retire from the business of the day?'

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
British Dictionary definitions for hymn


a Christian song of praise sung to God or a saint
a similar song praising other gods, a nation, etc
to express (praises, thanks, etc) by singing hymns
Derived Forms
hymnic (ˈhɪmnɪk) adjective
hymnlike, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Latin hymnus, from Greek humnos
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 hymn

c.1000, from Old French ymne and Old English ymen, both from Latin hymnus "song of praise," from Greek hymnos "song or ode in praise of gods or heroes," used in Septuagint for various Hebrew words meaning "song praising God." Possibly a variant of hymenaios "wedding song," from Hymen, Greek god of marriage (see hymen), or from a PIE root *sam- "to sing" (cf. Hittite išhamai "he sings," Sanskrit saman- "hymn, song") [Watkins]. Evidence for the silent -n- dates from at least 1530.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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