c. 1200, simonie, "the sin of buying or selling sacred things," from Old French simonie "selling of church offices" (12c.) and directly from Late Latin simonia, from Simon Magus, the Samaritan magician who was rebuked by Peter when he sought to buy the power of conferring the Holy Spirit (Acts viii.18-20). Related: Simonient (adj.) "guilty of simony," late 14c.
updated on October 29, 2022