[ kan-ti-kuh l ]
/ ˈkæn tɪ kəl /


one of the nonmetrical hymns or chants, chiefly from the Bible, used in church services.
a song, poem, or hymn especially of praise.

Origin of canticle

1175–1225; Middle English (< Old French) < Latin canticulum, equivalent to cantic(um) song (see canticum) + -ulum -ule Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for canticle

British Dictionary definitions for canticle


/ (ˈkæntɪkəl) /


a nonmetrical hymn, derived from the Bible and used in the liturgy of certain Christian churches
a song, poem, or hymn, esp one that is religious in character

Word Origin for canticle

C13: from Latin canticulum, diminutive of canticus a song, from canere to sing
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 canticle



"short hymn," early 13c., from Latin canticulum "a little song," diminutive of canticum "song" (also a scene in Roman comedy enacted by one person and accompanied by music and dancing), from cantus (see chant (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper