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simony Syllabification: si·mo·ny
Pronunciation: /ˈsīmənē/

Definition of simony in English:


chiefly historical
The buying or selling of ecclesiastical privileges, for example pardons or benefices.
Example sentences
  • He also outlawed simony, the practice of buying and selling church posts.
  • To manipulate religious conviction into a political commodity is a contemporary form of simony.
  • Selling something that belonged to God constituted the sin of simony.


Pronunciation: /ˌsīməˈnīək/
adjective& noun
Example sentences
  • Archbishop Laud and his allies, by deciding such arrangements in the Church were simoniac, needlessly disturbed the retirement of elderly clergymen.
  • Dante sees there barrators, sowers of discord, counterfeiters, misusers of public funds, and simoniac popes.
  • The validity of priestly ordinations administered by simoniac bishops proved a serious problem, because most theologians held that simony prostituted the sacrament of ordination.
Pronunciation: /ˌsīməˈnīəkəl/
Example sentences
  • At the same time he sought to check the simoniacal practices of the apostolic chamber, and in connection with this to introduce a simpler and more economical manner of life into his court.
  • We had, to some extent, diminished the simoniacal and infamous trade in masses; but unfortunately we had not destroyed it; and I know that today it has revived.
  • He re-ordained many men who had been ordained by simoniacal bishops.


Middle English: from Old French simonie, from late Latin simonia, from Simon Magus (Acts 8:18).

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