Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A religious discourse delivered as part of a church service.
  • n. An often lengthy and tedious speech of reproof or exhortation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. religious discourse; a written or spoken address on a religious or moral matter
  • n. a lengthy speech of reproval
  • v. To discourse to or of, as in a sermon.
  • v. To tutor; to lecture.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A discourse or address; a talk; a writing.
  • n. Specifically, a discourse delivered in public, usually by a clergyman, for the purpose of religious instruction and grounded on some text or passage of Scripture.
  • n. Hence, a serious address; a lecture on one's conduct or duty; an exhortation or reproof; a homily; -- often in a depreciatory sense.
  • intransitive v. To speak; to discourse; to compose or deliver a sermon.
  • transitive v. To discourse to or of, as in a sermon.
  • transitive v. To tutor; to lecture.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A speech, discourse, or writing.
  • n. A discourse delivered by a clergyman, licentiate, or other person, for the purpose of religious instruction and edification, during divine service, usually founded upon or in elucidation of some text or passage of Scripture.
  • n. Hence—
  • n. A written dissertation of similar character.
  • n. Any serious address on a moral or religious theme, whether delivered or published, by a clergyman or by a layman: as, a lay sermon.
  • n. Any serious exhortation, counsel, or reproof: usually in an admonitory or reprobatory sense.
  • n. Synonyms Sermon, Homily, Exhortation. Sermon is the standard word for a formal address on a religious subject, founded upon a text of Scripture. Homily is an old word for the same thing, especially for an exposition of doctrine, but is now more often used for a conversational address, shorter than a sermon, of much directness and seriousness, perhaps upon a point of duty. Exhortation is occasionally used for a religious address appealing to one's conscience or calling one to the performance of duty in general or some specific duty.
  • To discourse of, as in a sermon.
  • To tutor; lecture.
  • To compose or deliver a sermon; discourse.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an address of a religious nature (usually delivered during a church service)
  • n. a moralistic rebuke

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin sermō, sermōn-, discourse; see ser-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin sermō. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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