litany

[lit-n-ee]
noun, plural litanies.
1.
a ceremonial or liturgical form of prayer consisting of a series of invocations or supplications with responses that are the same for a number in succession.
2.
the Litany, the supplication in this form in the Book of Common Prayer.
3.
a recitation or recital that resembles a litany.
4.
a prolonged or tedious account: We heard the whole litany of their complaints.

Origin:
before 900; < Late Latin litanīa < Late Greek litaneía litany, Greek: an entreating, equivalent to litan- (stem of litaínein, variant of litaneúein to pray) + -eia -y3; replacing Middle English letanie, Old English letanīa < Medieval Latin, Late Latin, as above

litany, liturgy.


4. list, catalog, enumeration.
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World English Dictionary
litany (ˈlɪtənɪ)
 
n , pl -nies
1.  Christianity
 a.  a form of prayer consisting of a series of invocations, each followed by an unvarying response
 b.  the Litany the general supplication in this form included in the Book of Common Prayer
2.  any long or tedious speech or recital
 
[C13: via Old French from Medieval Latin litanīa from Late Greek litaneia prayer, ultimately from Greek litē entreaty]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

litany
early 13c., from M.L. letania, from L.L. litania, from Gk. litaneia "litany, an entreating," from lite "prayer, supplication, entreaty," of unknown origin. From notion of monotonous enumeration of petitions came generalized sense of "repeated series," 19c., borrowed from Fr.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

litany definition


In many religions, a ritual repetition of prayers. Usually a clergyman or singer chants a prayer, and the congregation makes a response, such as “Lord, have mercy.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Higher education faces a litany of challenges, and desperate measures are
  required.
The litany of statistics is as deadening as it is depressing.
Ask anyone about the activities they perform each a day and they'll rattle off
  a litany of actions.
The statistical litany about violence on television is by now as familiar and
  ritualized as well, as violence on television.
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