Definition of sermon in English:



  • 1A talk on a religious or moral subject, especially one given during a church service and based on a passage from the Bible.

    ‘I preached my first sermon on original sin’
    • ‘Instead, such preaching avoids real issues, uses outdated or irrelevant materials and doesn't feature God as the sermon's subject.’
    • ‘But the main feature of the service was the sermon, which generally lasted from three quarters of an hour to an hour.’
    • ‘If our Sunday sermons were like that, we might fill a few more pews.’
    • ‘And she said that her pastor's sermons had given her a sense of purpose.’
    • ‘Don't start preaching your Easter sermon too soon!’
    • ‘He came from a Protestant family and, in order to learn German, he attended the local Lutheran church where sermons were preached in that language.’
    • ‘I heard the Sunday sermons not once, but twice; likewise the prayers.’
    • ‘She also gives a weekly sermon in the hospice chapel.’
    • ‘Pastors' wives were known to preach sermons and conduct services whenever the pastor was serving another church within his multiple-congregation assignment.’
    • ‘It would surely be progress if significant discourse on tolerance were incorporated into educational curricula, religious sermons, and public speech.’
    • ‘Whether those attending religious services understand a sermon is evidently unimportant.’
    • ‘The Anglican leaders were preaching Christmas morning sermons to almost capacity congregations.’
    • ‘She was a normal woman, who enjoyed a good church sermon each Sunday morning and Wednesday night.’
    • ‘The other main users seem to be people preparing sermons or Bible studies and those who simply want to read for edification.’
    • ‘In Easter sermons, several Christian bishops made a point of criticising the detention of children.’
    • ‘Members particularly like being an intimate part of the children's sermon.’
    • ‘Though still a young convert I could not square this teaching with 1 John, the epistle on which the morning sermons were based.’
    • ‘This perspective has ramifications for the counseling ministry of the church, for sermons and Christian education and for the life of Christians in communities of faith.’
    • ‘Has my prayer life improved because writing the weekly sermon has become easier?’
    • ‘She sat in it, and listened to the middle-aged pastor's sermon.’
    homily, address, speech, talk, discourse, oration
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  • 2informal A long or tedious piece of admonition or reproof; a lecture.

    ‘he understood that if he said any more he would have to listen to another lengthy sermon’
    • ‘Here's the crazed part: Despite such sober trends, the Times piece quickly turned into a sermon.’
    • ‘It may teach people to critically decipher the sermons of the Times columnists who echo the advocates of occupation without an iota of skepticism.’
    • ‘Criticize the moronic politics and you get a sermon about not reducing works of art to a simplistic set of objective declarations.’
    • ‘To be sure, Europeans have good reason to be as tired of American economic sermons as we were of Japanese lectures in the 1980s, when the consensus was that Japan had all the answers and we had better listen.’
    • ‘What's often missing in these tedious sermons is the fun of these ads, the ridiculous enthusiasm and vivacity, and an appreciation for the artistry evident in every ad.’
    • ‘This unpretentious poetess does not go about lecturing or delivering sermons in high places.’
    lecture, tirade, harangue, diatribe
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Middle English (also in the sense ‘speech, discourse’): from Old French, from Latin sermo(n-) ‘discourse, talk’.