Definition of canticle in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkan(t)ək(ə)l/


1A hymn or chant, typically with a biblical text, forming a regular part of a church service.
Example sentences
  • Subtitled ‘Overture on Liturgical Themes,’ it is based on the Obikhod, a collection of Russian Orthodox canticles, biblical texts, and hymns.
  • Everything necessary for daily observance is here: church season prayers, saints' days, canticles, selected psalms, and a 30-day cycle of New Testament readings.
  • The formal part of the wedding (the vows and rings) came first, and the usual particulars of evensong followed - Rose responses, a psalm to Anglican chant, Gibbons Second Service canticles, and a few hymns.
2 (Canticles or Canticle of Canticles) another name for Song of Songs (especially in the Vulgate Bible).


Middle English: from Latin canticulum 'little song', diminutive of canticum, from canere 'sing'.

  • enchant from Late Middle English:

    Enchant is from French enchanter, from Latin incantare, which was based on cantare ‘to sing’. These Latin words gave us chant (Late Middle English), canticle (Middle English) a ‘little song’, and incantation (Late Middle English). The original meanings of enchant were ‘to put under a spell’ and ‘to delude’. Enchanter's nightshade (late 16th century) was believed by early botanists to be the herb used in potions by the enchantress Circe of Greek mythology, who charmed Odysseus' companions and turned them into pigs. See charm, incentive

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: can·ti·cle

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