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Litany definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

LIT'ANY, n. [Gr. supplication, to pray.]
A solemn form of supplication, used in public worship.
Supplications for the appeasing of God's wrath, were by the Greek church termed litanies, by the Latin, rogations.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: any long and tedious address or recital; "the patient recited a litany of complaints"; "a litany of failures"
2: a prayer consisting of a series of invocations by the priest with responses from the congregation

Merriam Webster's

noun (plural -nies) Etymology: Middle English letanie, from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French, from Late Latin litania, from Late Greek litaneia, from Greek, entreaty, from litanos suppliant Date: 13th century 1. a prayer consisting of a series of invocations and supplications by the leader with alternate responses by the congregation 2. a. a resonant or repetitive chant <a litany of cheering phrases Herman Wouk> b. a usually lengthy recitation or enumeration <a familiar litany of complaints> c. a sizable series or set <a litany of problems>

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. (pl. -ies) 1 a a series of petitions for use in church services or processions, usu. recited by the clergy and responded to in a recurring formula by the people. b (the Litany) that contained in the Book of Common Prayer. 2 a tedious recital (a litany of woes). Etymology: ME f. OF letanie f. eccl.L litania f. Gk litaneia prayer f. lite supplication

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Litany Lit"a*ny, n.; pl. Litanies. [OE. letanie, OF. letanie, F. litanie, L. litania, Gr. ?, fr. ? to pray, akin to ?, ?, to pray, ? prayer.] A solemn form of supplication in the public worship of various churches, in which the clergy and congregation join, the former leading and the latter responding in alternate sentences. It is usually of a penitential character. Supplications . . . for the appeasing of God's wrath were of the Greek church termed litanies, and rogations of the Latin. --Hooker.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(litanies) 1. If you describe what someone says as a litany of things, you mean that you have heard it many times before, and you think it is boring or insincere. She remained in the doorway, listening to his litany of complaints against her client. N-COUNT: usu with supp, oft N of n [disapproval] 2. A litany is part of a church service in which the priest says a set group of words and the people reply, also using a set group of words. N-COUNT

Moby Thesaurus

Angelus, Ave, Ave Maria, Hail Mary, Kyrie Eleison, Paternoster, Sefer Torah, Torah, Torah scroll, Virginal, agape, aid prayer, appeal, asperges, aspersion, auricular confession, bar mitzvah, bas mitzvah, beadroll, beads, beseechment, bidding prayer, breviary, canon, catalogue, cataloguing, celebration, chaplet, church book, circumcision, collect, communion, confession, confirmation, contemplation, devotions, entreaty, enumeration, euchologion, euchology, farse, formulary, grace, high celebration, impetration, imploration, incense, intercession, inventory, inventorying, invocation, invocation of saints, kiss of peace, lectionary, lesser litany, list, listing, love feast, lustration, machzor, manual, meditation, missal, obsecration, obtestation, ordinal, orison, pax, petition, pontifical, prayer, prayer book, prayer wheel, processional, recital, recitation, reciting the rosary, ritual, rituale, rogation, rosary, rubric, service book, siddur, silent prayer, suit, supplication, telling of beads, thanks, thanksgiving, the confessional, the confessionary

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