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Blech. These are the grossest words.


[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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hymn
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Her watch lay open upon the stand beside a glass of medicine, covered with a hymn book.

    Southern Hearts Florence Hull Winterburn
  • A soft blending Of dulcet instruments came charmingly;950 And then a hymn.

    Endymion John Keats
  • The meeting was opened by singing a Christmas hymn, after which Mr. T. Barritt, senior deacon, offered prayer.

  • He was evidently deep in meditation, for he did not get up during the hymn.

    The heart of happy hollow Paul Laurence Dunbar
  • As the Shepherds begin on the second stanza of the hymn, the curtains rise disclosing the same scene as before.

  • He described it as a hymn without words, which, he said softly, all hymns should be.

    The Green Carnation Robert Smythe Hichens
  • Mrs. Morel was always indignant with drunken men that they must sing that hymn when they got maudlin.

    Sons and Lovers David Herbert Lawrence
  • I give but one specimen, the 129th hymn of the tenth book of the Rig-veda.

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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hymn in the Bible

occurs only Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16. The verb to "sing an hymn" occurs Matt. 26:30 and Mark 14:26. The same Greek word is rendered to "sing praises" Acts 16:25 (R.V., "sing hymns") and Heb. 2:12. The "hymn" which our Lord sang with his disciples at the last Supper is generally supposed to have been the latter part of the Hallel, comprehending Ps. 113-118. It was thus a name given to a number of psalms taken together and forming a devotional exercise. The noun hymn is used only with reference to the services of the Greeks, and was distinguished from the psalm. The Greek tunes required Greek hymns. Our information regarding the hymnology of the early Christians is very limited.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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