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[pee-uh n]
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  1. paean.


or pe·an

[pee-uh n]
  1. any song of praise, joy, or triumph.
  2. 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 formspae·an·ism, noun
Can be confusedpaean paeon peon
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for peans

Historical Examples

  • His bearing was calm and undemonstrative, while in his bosom the peans of thanksgiving go up to the great White Throne.

    Charles Lewis Cocke

    William Robert Lee Smith

  • Yesterday we bowed the knee to Mars; to-day we join in peans to the Prince of Peace.

  • The cry of the child for bread reaches further into the universe than peans sung to kings.

    Wise or Otherwise

    Lydia Leavitt

British Dictionary definitions for peans


  1. a less common US spelling of paean


  1. heraldry a fur of sable spotted with or

Word Origin

C16: of uncertain origin


sometimes US pean

  1. a hymn sung in ancient Greece in invocation of or thanksgiving to a deity
  2. any song of praise
  3. enthusiastic praisethe 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

Word Origin and History for peans



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