Definition of hymnal in English:



  • A book of hymns.

    • ‘Therefore, congregations have had the liberty to choose their own liturgy, including their hymns and hymnals.’
    • ‘Start your library by researching other denominational hymnals.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, no details were given as to the criteria for selection of the hymnals nor were the hymnals themselves named.’
    • ‘You don't need six newly ordained pastors or six hundred new hymnals.’
    • ‘This hymn has traditionally been the first hymn in Methodist hymnals since the time of Wesley.’


  • Of hymns.

    ‘hymnal music’
    • ‘The simple lyric and Bass's cooing and humming give the song an almost hymnal quality.’
    • ‘Yet, as on ‘Children's Waltz’ and ‘Lullaby’, the wave of pastel, hymnal harmonies are hard to deny on aesthetic grounds.’
    • ‘Sounding like a hymnal Fairport Convention, Mangion's lead vocal is buoyed by Varty for help at key moments.’
    • ‘And that hymnal quality extends to other cuts such as ‘Roll Away’ and ‘Forgiveness’.’
    • ‘Vibraphone and bass sketch the hymnal melody, joined by lush violin figures and soft digital crackle.’
    • ‘She invites the audience to sing along to a plaintive, hymnal Rivers of Babylon.’
    • ‘Closer ‘Darkened Car’ circles back to the album's hymnal beginnings.’
    • ‘Mikkelborg releases sudden blizzards of sound over hymnal backdrops early on.’
    • ‘And yes, I've done away with the Christmas song titles, opting more for a hymnal type.’


Late 15th century: from medieval Latin hymnale, from Latin hymnus (see hymn).