• synonyms


[kan-ti-kuh l]
See more synonyms for canticle on Thesaurus.com
  1. one of the nonmetrical hymns or chants, chiefly from the Bible, used in church services.
  2. a song, poem, or hymn especially of praise.
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Origin of canticle

1175–1225; Middle English (< Old French) < Latin canticulum, equivalent to cantic(um) song (see canticum) + -ulum -ule
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for canticle

hymn, verse, chant, melody, chorus, paean, ditty, psalm, oratorio, eulogy, shout, celebration, chorale, canticle, ceremony, ritual, dirge, liturgy, threnody, elegy

Examples from the Web for canticle

Historical Examples of canticle

  • Afterwards came the canticle: "In thy help, Virgin, do I put my trust."

    The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete

    Emile Zola

  • The organ rolled diffusing the flutelike notes of a canticle of joy.

  • She took up the canticle again, went down the roof, and entered the water.

    The Flood

    Emile Zola

  • When the canticle was sung and I was slipping into the sacristy, he was beside me.

    On the Frontier

    Bret Harte

  • Then, in a slow and monotonous voice, he recited the canticle.

British Dictionary definitions for canticle


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper