Definition of psalmody in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The singing of psalms or similar sacred canticles, especially in public worship.

    ‘psalmody is common to all the Churches and is acceptable in those few Churches where hymns are not’
    • ‘Thus it was his habit that, upon returning from the harvest, he would give himself to ‘prayer, meditation and psalmody until his thoughts were re-established in their previous order.’’
    • ‘David's authority now stood behind the role of the Levites and the use of psalmody in worship.’
    • ‘Additional material found in certain psalters includes refrains used for antiphonal psalmody and appendices containing canticles or other sacred writings.’
    1. 1.1Psalms arranged for singing.
      ‘these books offer a useful collection of psalmody’
      • ‘Four volumes deal with different kinds of material in the Old Testament: narrative, prophecy, poetry / psalmody, wisdom and law.’
      • ‘And Mary's song, the Magnificat, sung in response to her visit with her relative Elizabeth (which is the alternative psalmody for today), becomes the archetypal psalm of faith.’
      • ‘Christian plainchant offers melodic settings of varying complexity for the Ordinary and Proper texts of their parent rites, which may consist of psalmody and other scriptural texts or freely composed hymnody.’
      • ‘After the greeting, psalmody took the place of the Introit and the later Gradual.’


Middle English: via late Latin from Greek psalmōidia singing to a harp, from psalmos (see psalm) + ōidē song.