Word of the DaySaturday, December 24, 2011
\KAN-ti-kuhl\ , noun;
A song, poem, or hymn especially of praise.
One of the nonmetrical hymns or chants, chiefly from the Bible, used in church services.
And, yes, finally, I understood the love in this canticle not just as love between man and woman as they unite, but between the Creator and His people, our Israel.
-- Donna Jo Napoli, Song of the Magdalene
Of course, anyone who writes canticles must know the life of the saint to perfection, to the least trivial detail.
-- Anton Chekhov, The Bishop and Other Stories
Canticle comes from the Latin word canticum meaning “song.” (That is also the root of “canto.”) The suffix -ule implies a diminutive version, like the word capsule.
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