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See more synonyms for sermon on Thesaurus.com
  1. a discourse for the purpose of religious instruction or exhortation, especially one based on a text of Scripture and delivered by a member of the clergy as part of a religious service.
  2. any serious speech, discourse, or exhortation, especially on a moral issue.
  3. a long, tedious speech.
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Origin of sermon

1150–1200; Middle English < Medieval Latin sermōn- (stem of sermō) speech from pulpit, Latin: discourse, equivalent to ser- (base of serere to link up, organize) + -mōn- noun suffix
Related formsser·mon·less, adjective

Synonyms for sermon

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2, 3. lecture. 3. harangue, tirade.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for sermon

tirade, homily, advice, exhortation, preaching, lecture, lesson, pastoral, discourse, doctrine, address, harangue, moralism, preachment, preach

Examples from the Web for sermon

Contemporary Examples of sermon

Historical Examples of sermon

  • Still I had not absolutely forgotten the sermon, nor all my good resolutions.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • Such is the substitute which he offers us for the Sermon on the Mount.

  • The golden rule of the Sermon on the Mount is not applied to them.

  • Then they went through the service together, from hymn and prayer to the sermon.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • Only this very morning I read her a sermon upon 'Propriety, and the fitness of things.'

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

British Dictionary definitions for sermon


    1. an address of religious instruction or exhortation, often based on a passage from the Bible, esp one delivered during a church service
    2. a written version of such an address
  1. a serious speech, esp one administering reproof
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Derived Formssermonic (sɜːˈmɒnɪk) or sermonical, adjective

Word Origin for sermon

C12: via Old French from Latin sermō discourse, probably from serere to join together
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 sermon


c.1200, sarmun, "a discourse upon a text of scripture; what is preached," from Anglo-French sermun, Old French sermon "speech, words, discourse; church sermon, homily" (10c.), from Latin sermonem (nominative sermo) "continued speech, conversation; common talk, rumor; learned talk, discourse; manner of speaking, literary style," originally "a stringing together of words," from PIE *ser-mo-, suffixed form of root *ser- (3) "to line up, join" (see series).

Main modern sense in English and French is elliptical for Latin sermo religiosus. In transferred (non-religious) use from 1590s. The Sermon on the Mount is in 5,6,7 Matt. and 6 Luke. Related: Sermonic; sermonical; sermonish.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper