[in-troh-it, -troit]


Roman Catholic Church. a part of a psalm with antiphon recited by the celebrant of the Mass at the foot of the altar and, at High Mass, sung by the choir when the priest begins the Mass.
Anglican Church, Lutheran Church. a psalm or anthem sung as the celebrant of the Holy Communion enters the sanctuary.
a choral response sung at the beginning of a religious service.

Origin of introit

1475–85; < Medieval Latin introitus (misse or ad missam), Latin: entrance, beginning, equivalent to intro-, combining form of intrō intro- + -i-, variant stem of īre to go + -tus suffix of v. action Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for introit

Historical Examples of introit

  • When the Mass began the choir broke forth, singing the Introit.

    Evelyn Innes

    George Moore

  • The York rubric directed him to do it immediately alter the first saying of the Introit, which in England was thrice said.

  • Violently the Introit rang out, as if from depths beyond the grave, and in it were mingled the tragedy of the man and of the God.

    The Surprises of Life

    Georges Clemenceau

  • Ascending the altar, the priest passed at once to the right hand side where lay the Mass-Book, from which he read the Introit.

    The Loyalist

    James Francis Barrett

  • Montanelli stood before the high altar among his ministers and acolytes and read the Introit aloud in steady tones.

    The Gadfly

    E. L. Voynich

British Dictionary definitions for introit



RC Church Church of England a short prayer said or sung as the celebrant is entering the sanctuary to celebrate Mass or Holy Communion
Derived Formsintroital, adjective

Word Origin for introit

C15: from Church Latin introitus introit, from Latin: entrance, from introīre to go in, from intro- + īre to go
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 introit

late 15c., from Old French introit (14c.), from Latin introitus "a going in," past participle of introire "to enter," from intro- (see intro-) + ire "to go" (see ion).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper