Definitions

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

  • n. See plainsong.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A form of monophonic liturgical chant employed in various Catholic and Orthodox liturgies

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

  • n. a liturgical chant of the Roman Catholic Church

Etymologies

French plain-chant (translation of Medieval Latin cantus plānus) : plain, plain; see plain + chant, song; see chant.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
plain +‎ chant (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • "He felt the ampulla in his cheek—undying mortal sin except by casuistry—and although he had long thought prayer in time of danger indecent, prayers sang in his mind, the long hypnotic cadences of plainchant imploring protection for his love."
    —Patrick O'Brian, The Surgeon's Mate, 366

    I've only ever seen this word as plainsong, as in the play "The Lion in Winter," not plainchant, but at least I could tell they mean the same thing. :)

    February 9, 2008