A paean is a hymn of praise or thanksgiving. You might sing a paean in church, where many hymns extol the greatness of God.

Paean was originally a song of praise for Apollo, or Paian as he was sometimes called. You can now use paean to mean any song of praise, regardless of the deity, or to mean a formal expression of praise, like a eulogy. At your mother's birthday dinner, it might be nice for you and your brothers and sisters to write and sing a paean to her good-natured love and support of you over many years.

Definitions of paean
  1. noun
    (ancient Greece) a hymn of praise (especially one sung in ancient Greece to invoke or thank a deity)
    synonyms: pean
    see moresee less
    type of:
    anthem, hymn
    a song of praise (to God or to a saint or to a nation)
  2. noun
    a formal expression of praise
    synonyms: encomium, eulogy, panegyric, pean
    see moresee less
    type of:
    congratulations, extolment, kudos, praise
    an expression of approval and commendation
Word Family

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