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homily

[hom-uh-lee]
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noun, plural hom·i·lies.
  1. a sermon, usually on a Biblical topic and usually of a nondoctrinal nature.
  2. an admonitory or moralizing discourse.
  3. an inspirational saying or cliché.
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Origin of homily

1545–55; < Late Latin homīlia < Greek homīlía assembly, sermon, equivalent to hómīl(os) crowd (hom(oû) together + -īlos, masculine combining form of ī́lē (feminine) crowd) + -ia -y3; replacing Middle English omelie < Middle French < Latin, as above
Can be confusedhomely homily
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for homily

homily

noun plural -lies
  1. a sermon or discourse on a moral or religious topic
  2. moralizing talk or writing
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Derived Formshomilist, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Church Latin homīlia, from Greek: discourse, from homilein to converse with, from homilos crowd, from homou together + ilē crowd
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 homily

n.

late 14c., omelye, from Old French omelie (12c., Modern French homélie), from Church Latin homilia "a homily, sermon," from Greek homilia "conversation, discourse," used in New Testament Greek for "sermon," from homilos "an assembled crowd," from homou "together" (from PIE *somo-, from root *sem- (1) "one, as one, together with;" see same) + ile "troop" (cognate with Sanskrit melah "assembly," Latin miles "soldier"). Latinate form restored in English 16c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper