any song of praise, joy, or triumph.
a hymn of invocation or thanksgiving to Apollo or some other ancient Greek deity.
Also, pean.

1535–45; < Latin: religious or festive hymn, special use of Paean appellation of Apollo < Greek Paiā́n physician of the gods

paeanism, noun

paean, paeon, peon. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
paean or sometimes (US) pean (ˈpiːən)
1.  a hymn sung in ancient Greece in invocation of or thanksgiving to a deity
2.  any song of praise
3.  enthusiastic praise: the film received a paean from the critics
[C16: via Latin from Greek paiān hymn to Apollo, from his title Paiān, denoting the physician of the gods]
pean or sometimes (US) pean
[C16: via Latin from Greek paiān hymn to Apollo, from his title Paiān, denoting the physician of the gods]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1592, from L. paean "hymn of deliverance," from Gk. paian "hymn to Apollo," from Paian, a name of the god; originally the physician of the gods (in Homer), later merged with Apollo; lit. "one who touches," from paio "to touch, strike."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


solemn choral lyric of invocation, joy, or triumph, originating in ancient Greece, where it was addressed to Apollo in his guise as Paean, physician to the gods. In the Mycenaean Linear B tablets from the late 2nd millennium BC, the word pa-ja-wo-ne is used as a name for a healer god. This god's name was later associated with Apollo and his son Asclepius.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
At heart this romantic, melancholy tale is a paean to reading and to the life
  one person lives through books.
The Matrix trilogy was one long paean to data visualization.
For the book is not a paean to smallness.
Tammet seamlessly blends science and personal experience in a powerful paean to
  the mysteries and beauty of the brain.
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