- one of the nonmetrical hymns or chants, chiefly from the Bible, used in church services.
- a song, poem, or hymn especially of praise.
- a nonmetrical hymn, derived from the Bible and used in the liturgy of certain Christian churches
- a song, poem, or hymn, esp one that is religious in character
“short hymn,” early 13c., from Latin canticulum “a little song,” diminutive of canticum “song” (also a scene in Roman comedy enacted by one person and accompanied by music and dancing), from cantus (see chant (v.)).