or pe·an

[pee-uh n]


any song of praise, joy, or triumph.
a hymn of invocation or thanksgiving to Apollo or some other ancient Greek deity.

Origin of paean

1535–45; < Latin: religious or festive hymn, special use of Paean appellation of Apollo < Greek Paiā́n physician of the gods
Related formspae·an·ism, noun
Can be confusedpaean paeon peon Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for paean

Contemporary Examples of paean

Historical Examples of paean

  • There was no word of the bank episode, nothing but a paean of victory.


    W. A. Fraser

  • The officers, led by the Captain waving his cap from the bridge, joined in the paean.

    The Man

    Bram Stoker

  • Paean, A name of Apollo; a song sung before or after a battle.

  • "Thank you," he said simply, but his tone was better than a paean of praise.

    The Trail of Conflict

    Emilie Baker Loring

  • That hum of wings is the Calicurgus' paean of triumph, until it be her death-song.

    More Hunting Wasps

    J. Henri Fabre

British Dictionary definitions for paean


sometimes US pean


a hymn sung in ancient Greece in invocation of or thanksgiving to a deity
any song of praise
enthusiastic praisethe film received a paean from the critics

Word Origin for paean

C16: via Latin from Greek paiān hymn to Apollo, from his title Paiān, denoting the physician of the gods
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 paean

1590s, from Latin paean "hymn of deliverance," from Greek paian "hymn, chant, hymn to Apollo," from Paian, a name of the god of healing; originally the physician of the gods (in Homer), later merged with Apollo; literally "one who touches" (i.e. "one who heals by a touch"), from paio "to touch, strike."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper