Definition of hallelujah in English:


(also alleluia)


  • God be praised (uttered in worship or as an expression of rejoicing).

    • ‘If this is how man was supposed to be created, hallelujah!’
    • ‘Well, alleluia, I found it last night, and was shocked at how much the world has moved on.’
    • ‘This exalted state rests between channels 701 and 715 on DirecTV - hallelujah, NFL Sunday Ticket!’
    • ‘We've all found each other and, hallelujah, we're not nuts.’
    • ‘In the second - hallelujah! - the oldie in question is neither loveable nor crusty (Hollywood's usual options for the over-60s) but the sort of average bloke you might meet in real life.’
    • ‘Tried Miller for a while, then JD and Coke for years but recently I have seen the light, hallelujah!’
    • ‘And when you find that one Mexican stamp with Frida Kahlo's unibrow, hallelujah!’
    • ‘Then an almost total ban on smoking in public places, which will hugely improve the quality of life for millions of us - hallelujah!’
    • ‘Then, I downloaded a stand-alone installer instead of using the webpage installation which doesn't work on my computer, set it to run and, hallelujah, it all works!’
    • ‘The Babu's an unabashed Potter fan, but all the same - hallelujah, the Lord be praised.’
    • ‘Yep the dizzy blonde had some friends this week - hallelujah!’
    • ‘I asked for Linux recommendations, and - hallelujah!’
    • ‘The Age reports that the krouts have found it's been raining toad entrails, hallelujah!’


  • 1An utterance of the word ‘hallelujah’ as an expression of worship or rejoicing.

    • ‘As he keeps insisting, there is still some way to go before his Spurs side can consider themselves worth a fresh chorus of hallelujahs.’
    • ‘The congregation fell silent, then erupted into a chorus of hallelujahs.’
    • ‘Again, the hack got some publicity and hallelujahs.’
    • ‘Did he mean that sons of men should join with the angels in saying alleluia or did he mean that the offspring of humans and angels should be saying it?’
    • ‘He spoke for a dreadfully long time, quoting the Bible and ejaculating hallelujahs hither and thither.’
    • ‘I felt a hallelujah bubbling up in my throat but quickly suppressed it when we were asked to stand and sing What a friend we have in Colin.’
    • ‘The reporter observed that this comment was met with amens and hallelujahs.’
    • ‘Tueart replaced MacDonald as City pushed forward to save the game but this time the task was beyond them and Tottenham's supporters roared their hallelujahs loud and long into the night air.’
    • ‘That is so despite a few tracks that may not invite hallelujah's from certain quarters.’
    • ‘And yet, listening to all the hallelujahs and words of praise that were heaped on this quiet, unassuming lady for her honesty and courage, I had a troubling sense of déjà vu.’
    • ‘For some, his evangelical embrace of the Creator palled after the second or third hallelujah.’
    • ‘In doing so, the church becomes what it was in its earliest days - a community of resistance against the external impositions and lifestyle colonialism of the dominant order; a place of prayer and alleluia.’
    • ‘Where Bede has simply told us that Gregory ‘plays on the name,’ the Whitby text spells out letter by letter the changes that are required to turn Angles into angels and Aelli's name into alleluia.’
    • ‘Who so stolid and selfish that would not give his voice to swell the hallelujahs of a nation's jubilee, when the chains of servitude had been torn from his limbs?’
    • ‘In the years immediately following Christ's resurrection, alleluia particularly connoted praise for Jesus' victory over death.’
    • ‘Whatever Roman numeral this Super Bowl may be, it will come and go with glory dust sprinkled onto heroes, the air humming with huzzas, hosannas and hallelujahs.’
    • ‘All of us go down to the dust; yet even at the grave we make our song: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.’
    • ‘Yeah, so what, many of their songs sing alleluia and praise the lord.’
    • ‘I have now finished the first complete draft of my novella (cue angelic trumpets, hallelujahs etc).’
    • ‘In fact one generally finds, when one scratches the surface, that behind all the empty hallelujahs and paeans to ‘the people’ lies a contempt for the working class and a deep scepticism in its ability to rise to its historical tasks.’
    1. 1.1 A piece of music or church liturgy containing an utterance or utterances of the word ‘hallelujah’
      ‘the Gospel comes after the Alleluia verse’
      • ‘Not just settings of the ordinary, but the copious amounts of plainchant needed to cover all the propers (the introit, gradual, alleluia, offertory, communion and other sentences, all of which change according to the day and festival).’
      • ‘It is possible that plainchant developed to some extent through the embellishment of simpler originals, the ecstatic jubilus melismas of certain alleluias being a likely example.’
      • ‘Edwards can warble and exercise his vibrato technique during poignant bits and can belt out the hallelujahs as forcefully as any four-hundred-pound gospel diva.’
      • ‘Uses of this format, known as responsorial psalmody, include the prokeimenon and alleluiarion of the Byzantine Divine Liturgy, and the gradual, tract, and alleluia of the Roman Mass.’
      • ‘This, of course, is the season of hallelujahs and glorias, and the choirs are coming out thick and fast to meet the heavenly challenges.’
      song of praise, hymn, psalm, anthem, shout of praise, alleluia
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Old English, via ecclesiastical Latin alleluia from Greek allēlouia (in the Septuagint), or (from the 16th century) directly from Hebrew hallĕlūyāh ‘praise ye the Lord’.