An encomium is a fancy word for a formal speech or piece of writing that warmly praises someone or something.

Encomium comes from the Greek word enkomion which, in a nutshell, is to honor someone or something at a party in a poetic speech. It used to refer to the song for the winner of the Olympic Games, sung at a victory celebration. You might hear an encomium at a retirement party, after you publish a fabulous book, or even at a funeral (a eulogy, or speech at a funeral about the person who died, is a kind of encomium). It's pronounced with a long O, en-CO-mium.

Definitions of encomium
  1. noun
    a formal expression of praise
    synonyms: eulogy, paean, panegyric, pean
    see moresee less
    type of:
    congratulations, extolment, kudos, praise
    an expression of approval and commendation
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week