Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A religious discourse delivered as part of a church service.
  • n. An often lengthy and tedious speech of reproof or exhortation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. religious discourse; a written or spoken address on a religious or moral matter
  • n. a lengthy speech of reproval
  • v. To discourse to or of, as in a sermon.
  • v. To tutor; to lecture.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A discourse or address; a talk; a writing.
  • n. Specifically, a discourse delivered in public, usually by a clergyman, for the purpose of religious instruction and grounded on some text or passage of Scripture.
  • n. Hence, a serious address; a lecture on one's conduct or duty; an exhortation or reproof; a homily; -- often in a depreciatory sense.
  • intransitive v. To speak; to discourse; to compose or deliver a sermon.
  • transitive v. To discourse to or of, as in a sermon.
  • transitive v. To tutor; to lecture.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To discourse of, as in a sermon.
  • To tutor; lecture.
  • To compose or deliver a sermon; discourse.
  • n. A speech, discourse, or writing.
  • n. A discourse delivered by a clergyman, licentiate, or other person, for the purpose of religious instruction and edification, during divine service, usually founded upon or in elucidation of some text or passage of Scripture.
  • n. Hence—
  • n. A written dissertation of similar character.
  • n. Any serious address on a moral or religious theme, whether delivered or published, by a clergyman or by a layman: as, a lay sermon.
  • n. Any serious exhortation, counsel, or reproof: usually in an admonitory or reprobatory sense.
  • n. Synonyms Sermon, Homily, Exhortation. Sermon is the standard word for a formal address on a religious subject, founded upon a text of Scripture. Homily is an old word for the same thing, especially for an exposition of doctrine, but is now more often used for a conversational address, shorter than a sermon, of much directness and seriousness, perhaps upon a point of duty. Exhortation is occasionally used for a religious address appealing to one's conscience or calling one to the performance of duty in general or some specific duty.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an address of a religious nature (usually delivered during a church service)
  • n. a moralistic rebuke

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin sermō, sermōn-, discourse; see ser-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin sermō. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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