- ( RP ) IPA: /sɑːm/
- ( US ) IPA: /sɑm/, /sɑlm/
- Rhymes: -ɑːm
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 .
psalm ( plural: psalms )
Explanation of psalm by Wordnet Dictionary
- Psalm n. [OE. psalm, salm, AS. sealm, L. psalmus, psalma, fr. Gr. , , fr. to pull, twitch, to play upon a stringed instrument, to sing to the harp: cf. OF. psalme, salme, F. psaume.]
1. A sacred song; a poetical composition for use in the praise or worship of God.
Humus devout and holy psalms
Singing everlastingly. Milton.
2. 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.
- Psalm, v. t. To extol in psalms; to sing; as, “psalming his praises”. Sylvester.
Definition of psalm by GCIDE Dictionary