Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A sacred song; a hymn.
  • transitive verb To sing of or celebrate in psalms.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To sing psalms.
  • To celebrate in psalms; hymn.
  • noun A sacred poem or song, especially one in which expressions of praise and thanksgiving are prominent: usually restricted either to those contained in the Book of Psalms, or to the versifications of these composed for the use of churches, as the Psalms of Tate and Brady, of Watts, etc.
  • noun plural [capitalized] A book of the Old Testament which follows Job and precedes Proverbs, and contains 150 psalms and hymns; more fully, the Book of Psalms.
  • noun plural Among the ancient Jews, the Hagiographa: so called because the Psalms constitute the first book in it.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To extol in psalms; to sing.
  • noun A sacred song; a poetical composition for use in the praise or worship of God.
  • noun Especially, one of the hymns by David and others, collected into one book of the Old Testament, or a modern metrical version of such a hymn for public worship.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A sacred song; a poetical composition for use in the praise or worship of God.
  • noun Especially, one of the hymns by David and others, collected into one book of the Old Testament, or a modern metrical version of such a hymn for public worship.
  • verb To extol in psalms; to make music; to sing; as, psalming his praises.

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

  • verb sing or celebrate in psalms
  • noun any sacred song used to praise the deity
  • noun one of the 150 lyrical poems and prayers that comprise the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament; said to have been written by David

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English, from Latin psalmus, from Greek psalmos, from psallein, to play the harp; see pāl- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English salm or psalme, from Old English psealm, later reinforced from Old French psalme (modern French psaume), both from Latin psalmus, from Ancient Greek ψαλμός (psalmos, "the sound emenating from twitching or twanging perhaps with the hands or fingers, mostly of musical strings") (from ψάλλω (psallo, "to make a sound by striking, touching, plucking, rubbing, twanging, or vibrating")), but later in New Testament times the meaning of ψαλμός evolved from its Classical meaning of "a tune played to the harp" to a more general tune that could be played with any instrument; even a song sung with or without their accompaniment. By the Byzantine Period, it lost all of its instrumental characteristics.

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