One entry found for psalm
Main Entry: psalm
Pronunciation: säm, sälm
Etymology: Old English psealm
"psalm," from Latin psalmus
(same meaning), from Greek psalmos
"psalm," literally, "twanging of a harp," from psallein
"to pluck, play a stringed musical instrument"
a sacred song or poem2 capitalized :
one of the hymns that make up the Old Testament Book of PsalmsWord History
The Greek word psallein
originally meant "to pull" or "to pluck." It then came to be used with the meaning "to play a stringed musical instrument." From this verb came the noun psalmos,
which literally meant "the twanging of a harp." Since harp music often accompanied singing, psalmos
took on the meaning of "a song sung to harp music" and later simply "a song or poem." It was borrowed into Latin as psalmus
and came into English as psalm.
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