Definition of psalmody in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈsɑːmədi/
Pronunciation: /ˈsalmədi/


[mass noun]
1The singing of psalms or similar sacred canticles, especially in public worship: psalmody is common to all the Churches and is acceptable in those few Churches where hymns are not
More example sentences
  • Additional material found in certain psalters includes refrains used for antiphonal psalmody and appendices containing canticles or other sacred writings.
  • David's authority now stood behind the role of the Levites and the use of psalmody in worship.
  • Thus it was his habit that, upon returning from the harvest, he would give himself to ‘prayer, meditation and psalmody until his thoughts were re-established in their previous order.’
1.1Psalms arranged for singing: these books offer a useful collection of psalmody
More example sentences
  • Christian plainchant offers melodic settings of varying complexity for the Ordinary and Proper texts of their parent rites, which may consist of psalmody and other scriptural texts or freely composed hymnody.
  • Four volumes deal with different kinds of material in the Old Testament: narrative, prophecy, poetry / psalmody, wisdom and law.
  • And Mary's song, the Magnificat, sung in response to her visit with her relative Elizabeth (which is the alternative psalmody for today), becomes the archetypal psalm of faith.



Pronunciation: /salˈmɒdɪk/
Example sentences
  • Certain psalmodic chants also became subject to purely musical elaboration, whether through polyphony (in the Latin West) or kalophonia (in the Byzantine East).
  • Despite these efforts to rely on wall-to-wall ditties, psalmodic chant still figures prominently in the Weekday liturgy.
  • In the Mass, the chants of the Ordinary are all non-psalmodic and those of the Proper are psalmodic.


Pronunciation: /ˈsɑːmədɪst/
Example sentences
  • Malcolm Watts argues his case fully and strongly, but ultimately too many questions remain - in particular, whether Ephesians 5: 19 and Colossians 3: 16 can bear the weight that exclusive psalmodists seek to place on them.
  • Exclusive psalmodists claim that God nowhere authorizes uninspired hymns. The conclusion that uninspired hymns are forbidden follows naturally.
  • Noteworthy, however, is the fact that the Apostles’ Creed was frequently recited in Puritan worship services, an act that most exclusive Psalmodists consider a violation of the regulative principle.


(also psalmodise) verb


Middle English: via late Latin from Greek psalmōidia 'singing to a harp', from psalmos (see psalm) + ōidē 'song'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: psalm|ody

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.