American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A liturgical prayer consisting of a series of petitions recited by a leader alternating with fixed responses by the congregation.
- n. A repetitive or incantatory recital: "the litany of layoffs in recent months by corporate giants” ( Sylvia Nasar).
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Primarily, a solemn prayer of supplication; a public or general supplication to God, especially in processions.
- n. Specifically, in liturgics, an appointed form of responsive prayer, used as part of a service or separately. The most important varieties have been the following: Liturgical or missal litanies, found in theoldest liturgies or eucharistic offices, especially in the introductory division. Such are the synapte and ectene of the Oriental forms, consisting of a series of brief clauses, mostly beginning “In behalf of,” then naming the person or thing prayed for, and concluding “let us beseech the Lord,” with the response Kyrie eleïson. There were originally five such litanies in the liturgy: the initial diaconica or irenica (the Western Kyrie, pacificæ, and collect), the ectene after the Gospel, the litany after the offertory, that following the great intercession by the priest after consecration, and a closing litany after communion. In the West such litanies were in use for many centuries, but they have not been retained in the Roman Church, which has, however, versicles before the introit and the Kyrie after it.
- n. Hence Any earnest supplication or prayer.
- n. The same petitions with the following versicles or prayers and responses in the litany in the English Book of Common Prayer, allowed to be omitted at discretion in the American Book.
- n. The same petitions with the following versicles and responses in the Orders for Morning and Evening Prayer.
- n. A ritual liturgical prayer in which a series of prayers recited by a leader are alternated with responses from the congregation.
- n. A prolonged or tedious account.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A solemn form of supplication in the public worship of various churches, in which the clergy and congregation join, the former leading and the latter responding in alternate sentences. It is usually of a penitential character.
- n. a prayer consisting of a series of invocations by the priest with responses from the congregation
- n. any long and tedious address or recital
- From Ancient Greek λιτανεία ("prayer"), from λιτή ("prayer, entreaty"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English letanie, from Old French, from Medieval Latin letanīa, from Late Latin litanīa, from Late Greek litaneia, from Greek, entreaty, from litaneuein, to entreat, from litanos, entreating, from litē, supplication. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The word litany comes from the Latin litania, from the Greek λιτή litê, meaning "prayer" or "supplication"....”
“In your testimony today, right here, right now, you continue to deflect personal responsibility, you cite what you call a litany of reasons for Lehman's bankruptcy.”
“You cite what you call a litany of reasons for Lehmans 'bankruptcy.”
“Because that's another one of these litany -- what I call the litany of lies.”
“Of course we have just begun the litany from the Repubs on why this woman should not be seated as it was also a trying time for her immediate precedent.”
“And some of the least reliable escalators in the system are also some of the newest, accumulating thousands of hours out of service for what officials described as a litany of mechanical flaws.”
“Part of their litany is a desire to avoid coming face to face with academics or scientists who are specialists in their subject and might be able to debunk their prejudices.”
“A litany is a well-known and much appreciated form of responsive petition, used in public liturgical services, and in private devotions, for common necessities of the Church, or in calamities — to implore God's aid or to appease His just wrath.”
“Because the “Cult of Masculinity” has the “Rugged Individualist” as its archetype, men who reach out to other men are shunned as failures, wimps, weaklings, or called a litany of insulting terms derived from female genitals.”
“I rrrecall a litany, much like the Tayledrrrasss litany of 'frrriendly beassstss," that we magesss of k'Lessshya arrre all rrrequirred to learrrn.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘litany’.
A complete Barron's Wordlist for GRE preparation. Your online flashcard replacement.
I'm sure someone's done this before. If so, please leave the name of the list as an item on the list. Thank you.
Words I come across while reading.
From Barron Wordlist the New Words
Words I like to use, words I like but may forget.
Looking for tweets for litany.