Definition of sermonize in English:


(also sermonise)


  • 1Compose or deliver a sermon.

    • ‘He was the son of a Baptist preacher who sermonized about the virtues of the free market.’
    • ‘Father Peter is a likable character who seems to enjoy fishing and gambling more than sermonizing, though he has some pragmatic, down to earth advice for those who need it.’
    • ‘But after years of warning worshipers to avoid the seduction of material success, pastors are now sermonizing on the predicaments of sudden economic misfortune.’
    • ‘He urges the nervous young priest to sermonize against her.’
    • ‘In the Reformation church sermonizing in the nave gave particular meaning to the term ‘auditory’ church.’
    • ‘He even sent a field representative who encouraged local pastors to sermonize about the school choice issue.’
    • ‘Preachers paid for time to sermonize, listeners could call in, some slots were reserved for Christian music.’
    • ‘In May 1596 he was appointed rector to East Hoathly and the same year sermonized there on the Book of Ruth.’
    • ‘Urge upon your minister, priest, rabbi or bishop that as a moral leader of the community he or she should sermonize and speak out publicly against hate crimes, especially against anti-gay violence.’
    • ‘At the time of the framing, by contrast, preachers were instrumental in instituting the rule of law, sermonizing in favor of obedience to legitimately enacted laws.’
    • ‘Millions of Muslims today go to their local mosques and hear their preachers sermonize from the Holy Koran.’
    • ‘In their hey-day, the Seven Deadlies could draw forth endless hours of vituperative sermonising in the churches and cathedrals that were packed to capacity.’
    religious teaching, instruction, message
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  • 2Deliver an opinionated and dogmatic talk to someone.

    ‘they confidently sermonize on the fixed nature of identity’
    • ‘‘Today, our party readies itself to mount the wave of the future,’ he sermonized.’
    • ‘As the show progresses, the characters piece together their common histories, all the while bickering, bellowing and sermonizing to great effect.’
    • ‘He slumps in the auditorium, worrying that his mother is rambling or sermonising.’
    • ‘Though she is careful not to ever pontificate or sermonise, she believes that written works of fiction ought to convey some message.’
    • ‘Keith specialised in depraved characters who committed acts of extreme brutality while sermonising on the virtues of a good and moral life.’
    • ‘But this is not the time for sermonizing or moralizing over US foreign policy.’
    • ‘He frequently sermonizes on the moral failings of others, including other public figures.’
    • ‘It wasn't just for me - I knew he'd appreciate not having to listen to Opal sermonize at his expense for a while.’
    • ‘Neither does he sermonise through his characters, a temptation that few directors can resist.’
    • ‘I think it is because he ends up sermonizing rather than offering constructive ways to deal with our current curricular problems.’
    • ‘There is always a danger of such prose seeming like sermonizing.’
    • ‘Care had to be taken not to preach or sermonise or abstractly reach the ‘so-called intellectual audience’ alone.’
    • ‘In fact, there are times when the film edges close to sermonizing.’
    • ‘Clearly, therefore, the best way to achieve this is to turn up at their flat at midnight after having been to a party, then proceed to sermonise drunkenly for two hours until they tell you that they have to go to bed.’
    • ‘Whenever a young footballer goes off the rails, these ‘survivors’ are always wheeled out to sermonise about the dangers of addiction.’
    • ‘This is not the time, he says, to stir up anti-American sentiments, or sermonise over US foreign policy.’
    • ‘In their speech, there is a tendency to be rhetorical and instructive and school-masterly and sermonising.’
    • ‘I blushed when he sermonized to one of my boyfriends about the vitality and pleasure of true love.’
    • ‘What I'm trying hard to resist here is an impulse to sermonize against a comeback of the notion, so fashionable in the sixties, that all art is neurotic or psychotic, and that madness is a proof of grace.’
    • ‘I'll give those other critics that Peck's character does become given to sermonizing and preaching.’
    hold forth, expound, declaim, preach, lay down the law, express one's opinion, express one's opinion pompously, sound off, spout, spout off, dogmatize, moralize, pronounce, lecture, expatiate
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