• synonyms

Kyrie eleison

[Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Church keer-ee-ey e-ley-uh-sawn, -son, -suh n; Greek Orthodox Church kee-ree-e e-le-ee-sawn]
  1. (italics) the brief petition “Lord, have mercy,” used in various offices of the Greek Orthodox Church and of the Roman Catholic Church.
  2. the brief response or petition in services in the Anglican Church, beginning with the words, “Lord, have mercy upon us.”
  3. Also called Kyr·i·e. a musical setting of either of these.
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Origin of Kyrie eleison

1300–50; Middle English kyrieleyson < Medieval Latin, Late Latin Kyrie eleīson < Late Greek Kýrie eléēson Lord, have mercy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for kyrie

Historical Examples

  • Thus his Kyrie is not the mere opening of a stately pageant.

    Sebastian Bach

    Reginald Lane Poole

  • The Kyrie is long and elaborate, without any sustained subject.

  • The solo voices and choruses generally alternate in the Kyrie.

  • The Kyrie is preceded by the Introitus, beginning with a prayer for the departed.

  • I would you could see his face, Kyrie, it is that of Judas Iscariot.

    The Bible in Spain

    George Borrow

British Dictionary definitions for kyrie

Kyrie eleison

  1. a formal invocation used in the liturgies of the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Anglican Churches
  2. a musical setting of this
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Often shortened to: Kyrie

Word Origin

C14: via Late Latin from Late Greek kurie, eleēson Lord, have mercy
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 kyrie

kyrie eleison

early 13c., Greek liturgical formula, adopted untranslated into the Latin mass, literally "lord have mercy" (Ps. cxxii:3, Matt. xv:22, xvii:15, etc.). From kyrie, vocative of kyrios "lord, master" (see church) + eleeson, aorist imperative of eleo "I have pity on, show mercy to," from eleos "pity, mercy" (see alms).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper