Definitions

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

  • n. The 51st Psalm.
  • n. A musical setting of this psalm.
  • n. A prayer for mercy.
  • n. An expression of lamentation or complaint.
  • n. See misericord.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a prayer for mercy.
  • n. an expression of lamentation or complaint.
  • n. a medieval dagger, used for the mercy stroke to a wounded foe; misericord.
  • n. A small projecting boss or bracket on the underside of the hinged seat of a church stall, intended to give some support to a standing worshipper when the seat is turned up; a misericordia.
  • n. ileus

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The psalm usually appointed for penitential acts, being the 50th psalm in the Latin version. It commences with the word miserere.
  • n. A musical composition adapted to the 50th psalm.
  • n. A small projecting boss or bracket, on the under side of the hinged seat of a church stall (see Stall). It was intended, the seat being turned up, to give some support to a worshiper when standing. Called also misericordia.
  • n. Same as Ileus.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The 51st Psalm (50th in the Vulgate and Douay versions): so called from its first word. , ,
  • n. A hinged seat in a church stall, made to turn up, and bearing on its under side a bracket capable of affording some support to one who, in standing, leans against it.

Etymologies

Latin miserēre, have mercy, the first word of the psalm, imperative sing. of miserērī, to feel pity, from miser, wretched.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin miserēre ("have pity"), first word of the 51st Psalm. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • Ah! what a sound will rise, how wild and dreary,
    When the death-angel touches those swift keys!
    What loud lament and dismal Miserere
    Will mingle with their awful symphonies!

    - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'The Arsenal At Springfield'.

    September 16, 2009

  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
    noun
    Etymology: Middle English, from Latin, be merciful, from misereri to be merciful, from miser wretched; from the first word of the Psalm
    Date: 13th century
    1capitalized : the 50th Psalm in the Vulgate
    2: misericord
    3: a vocal complaint or lament

    excerpt from The Arsenal at Springfield by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    "Ah! What a sound will rise, how wild and dreary,
    When the death-angel touches those swift keys!
    What loud lament and dismal miserere
    Will mingle with their awful symphonies!"

    February 24, 2008