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litany

/ˈlɪtəni/

/ˈlɪtəni/

Other forms: litanies

A litany is a long, repetitive list or series of grievances, like your picky brother's litany of complaints about dinner or the litany of critical comments your English teacher writes in the margins of your essay.

The original meaning of litany is a purely religious one. During some Christian services, a member of the clergy recites a litany, a lengthy call-and-response type of prayer. The word's Greek root means "entreaty," and in this religious context, that's an entreaty to God. Its more popular, secular meaning tends to be used in a negative way, as in your grandpa's litany of aches and pains or the litany of complaints from passengers on a stalled subway car.

Definitions of litany
  1. noun
    a prayer consisting of a series of invocations by the clergy with responses from the congregation
    synonyms: Litany
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    example of:
    prayer
    a fixed text used in praying
  2. noun
    any long and tedious address or recital
    “the patient recited a litany of complaints”
    “a litany of failures”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    address, speech
    the act of delivering a formal spoken communication to an audience
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