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or pean

[pee-uh n] /ˈpi ən/
any song of praise, joy, or triumph.
a hymn of invocation or thanksgiving to Apollo or some other ancient Greek deity.
Origin of paean
1535-45; < Latin: religious or festive hymn, special use of Paean appellation of Apollo < Greek Paiā́n physician of the gods
Related forms
paeanism, noun
Can be confused
paean, paeon, peon. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for paean
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There was no word of the bank episode, nothing but a paean of victory.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • The officers, led by the Captain waving his cap from the bridge, joined in the paean.

    The Man Bram Stoker
  • paean, A name of Apollo; a song sung before or after a battle.

  • "Thank you," he said simply, but his tone was better than a paean of praise.

    The Trail of Conflict

    Emilie Baker Loring
  • That hum of wings is the Calicurgus' paean of triumph, until it be her death-song.

    More Hunting Wasps J. Henri Fabre
British Dictionary definitions for paean


a hymn sung in ancient Greece in invocation of or thanksgiving to a deity
any song of praise
enthusiastic praise: the film received a paean from the critics
Word Origin
C16: via Latin from Greek paiān hymn to Apollo, from his title Paiān, denoting the physician of the gods
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 paean

1590s, from Latin paean "hymn of deliverance," from Greek paian "hymn, chant, hymn to Apollo," from Paian, a name of the god of healing; originally the physician of the gods (in Homer), later merged with Apollo; literally "one who touches" (i.e. "one who heals by a touch"), from paio "to touch, strike."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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