One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The phenomenon of (apparently) speaking in an unknown language, especially in religious worship. It is practised especially by Pentecostal and charismatic Christians.
- ‘The soundtrack combines Pentecostal glossolalia (speaking in tongues) with recordings of unrestrained laughter.’
- ‘At other times, dozens of them are laid on top of each other, creating not a rational counterpoint but instead the heady glossolalia of nature.’
- ‘The speaker's words mirror that disorder, the inability to sustain coherent thought, dwindling to glossolalia.’
- ‘Pentecostalism takes its name from its central tenet of baptism in the Spirit and the associated experience of speaking in tongues or glossolalia.’
- ‘Some Christian services include glossolalia, spirit possession, and faith healing.’
- ‘The third symptom, glossolalia, was observed in two of the orderlies and one physician, who were admitted over the course of the evening.’
- ‘In charismatic Christian communities glossolalia is sacred and referred to as ‘speaking in tongues’ or having ‘the gift of tongues.’’
Late 19th century: from Greek glōssa ‘language, tongue’ + lalia ‘speech’.
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