Etymology
Advertisement
hymn (n.)
"religious song," c. 1000, from Old French ymne and Old English ymen, both from Late Latin hymnus "song of praise," from Greek hymnos "festive song or ode in praise of gods or heroes" (also sometimes of mournful songs), used in Septuagint to translate several Hebrew words meaning "song praising God." Possibly a variant of hymenaios "wedding song," from Hymen, Greek god of marriage, or, as per Watkins, from a PIE root *sam- "to sing" (source also of Hittite išhamai "he sings," Sanskrit saman- "hymn, song"). Evidence for the silent -n- dates from at least 1530.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
hymnal (n.)
c. 1500, imnale, himnale, "hymn-book," from Medieval Latin hymnale (n.), from ymnus, from Latin hymnus "song of praise" (see hymn). As an adjective, "of or pertaining to hymns," attested from 1640s.

Hymnal measure (a quatrain, usually iambic, alternately rhymed) is so called for being the preferred verse form for English hymns (such as "Amazing Grace"). It has been popular in English secular poetry as well, "though it almost always suggests the hymn, directly or ironically" [Miller Williams, "Patterns of Poetry," 1986].
Related entries & more 
paean (n.)

"hymn of praise, song of triumph;" in general use, "a loud and joyous song," 1590s, from Latin paean "hymn of deliverance, hymn to a help-giving god," from Greek paian "hymn, chant, hymn to Apollo," from Paian, Paiōn, a name of the god of healing; originally the physician of the gods (in Homer), later merged with Apollo; literally "one who touches" (i.e. "one who heals by a touch"), probably taken from a phrase or word at the beginning of the hymn, from paio "to touch, strike." The notion seems to be either a cry asking for aid in war or other trouble, or a giving thanks for aid received.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
Sanctus (n.)

late 14c., Latin, initial word of the "angelic hymn" (Isaiah vi.3) concluding the preface of the Eucharist and during which a bell is rung, literally "holy" (see saint (n.)). It renders Hebrew qadhosh in the hymn of adoration.

Related entries & more 
processional (n.)

"book of hymns, directions, etc. for use in processions," mid-15c., from Medieval Latin processionale, from noun use of neuter of processionalis "pertaining to a procession," from Late Latin processio (see procession). Meaning "hymn sung during a religious procession" is by 1884 (short for processional hymn).

Related entries & more 
Te Deum 
early 12c., from Late Latin Te Deum laudamus "Thee God we praise," first words of the ancient Latin hymn.
Related entries & more 
Dies Irae 
literally "day of wrath," first words of Latin hymn of Last Judgment, attributed to Thomas of Celano (c. 1250). See diurnal + ire.
Related entries & more 
Rig veda 

principal Hindu sacred book, 1776, Reig Beid, from Sanskrit rigveda, from rg- "praise, hymn, spoken stanza," literally "brightness" (from PIE *erkw- "to radiate, beam; praise") + veda "knowledge" (from PIE *weid-o-, from root *weid- "to see"). A thousand hymns, orally transmitted, probably dating from before 1000 B.C.E. Related: Rig-vedic.

Related entries & more