One entry found for psalm.
Main Entry: psalm
Pronunciation: primarystresssäm, primarystresssälm
Function: noun
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"
1 : a sacred song or poem
2 capitalized : one of the hymns that make up the Old Testament Book of Psalms
Word 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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