• WordNet 3.6
    • n homily a sermon on a moral or religious topic
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Homily A discourse or sermon read or pronounced to an audience; a serious discourse.
    • Homily A serious or tedious exhortation in private on some moral point, or on the conduct of life. "As I have heard my father
      Deal out in his long homilies ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n homily In early Christian use, a colloquial and familiar discourse in exposition of Scripture; in modern use, an expository sermon, or one which interprets and applies a particular passage of Scripture rather than elucidates a particular doctrine or theme.
    • n homily Any expository or hortatory discourse.
    • n homily [capitalized] In the Ch. of Eng., one of the two series of discourses called “The First” and “The Second Book of Homilies,” the former of which appeared in 1547 and the latter in 1563, appointed to be read in the churches when the sermon was omitted. Synonyms Exhortation, etc. See sermon.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Homily hom′i-li a plain expository sermon, interpreting a passage of Scripture rather than working out a doctrine in detail: a hortatory discourse, essentially simple, practical, and scriptural
    • ***


  • Lord Byron
    “Keep thy smooth words and juggling homilies for those who know thee not.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
LL. homilia, Gr. communion, assembly, converse, sermon, fr. an assembly, fr. same; cf. together, and crowd, cf. to press: cf. F. homélie,. See Same
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. homilia, an assembly, a sermon—homos, the same, ilē, a crowd.


In literature:

Day after day the papers were full of the facts, and it was weeks before the editorial homilies ceased.
"The Quality of Mercy" by W. D. Howells
I shall be sorry also to deprive you of Mr. Hall's sincere friendly homily, with all its racy Yorkshireisms; but here I must stay.
"Shirley" by Charlotte Brontë
He even had the nerve to preach little homilies about trying to evade the law.
"Wunpost" by Dane Coolidge
At Suckley Church, also in Worcestershire, there is a black-letter copy of the Homilies, 1578.
"Notes and Queries, Number 216, December 17, 1853" by Various
And old lady Calvin comes in every few minutes and delivers homilies on the joys of large families!
"In the Heart of a Fool" by William Allen White
And now, with my colleagues as texts, I shall read a homily on the conditions of modern dramatic art.
"An Ocean Tramp" by William McFee
He was, in fact, addressing a homily to Michael on the advantages of Temperance.
"When Ghost Meets Ghost" by William Frend De Morgan
It might be a fable, a satire, a libel, a squib, a sacred song or paraphrase, a homily.
"Spenser" by R. W. Church
But the child is a sort of homily to me.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. XXII (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
Poor constitutional abbe, people are scoffing already at your sacerdotal unction, your soothing homily!
"Marie Antoinette and the Downfall of Royalty" by Imbert de Saint-Amand
One peculiarity of Martella's afforded Johanna many an opportunity to read us homilies on our neglect of the child.
"Waldfried" by Berthold Auerbach
My dear Ruth, I've had a classic homily on Marriage!
"Helena Brett's Career" by Desmond Coke
It is not pleasant to-day to read the homilies which {33} America, during those early months of the war, preached to unheeding Europe.
"American World Policies" by Walter E. Weyl
I like the amiable manner in which you have received my little homily.
"Glories of Spain" by Charles W. Wood
Besides translations of particular homilies by G. Bickell and E.W.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 2, Slice 2" by Various
Various homilies of Moses survive, as also of Elisaeus.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 2, Slice 5" by Various
He mounts his best ruffles and his finest tunic as he sits down to write his homily.
"A Cursory History of Swearing" by Julian Sharman
In point of fact, the homilies of the one had as little effect as the jests of the other.
"History of The Reign of Philip The Second King of Spain" by William H. Prescott
All books grow homilies by time; they are Temples, at once, and Landmarks.
"The Poetical Works of Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, Bart. M.P." by Edward Bulwer Lytton
She would then shame him by forcing him to listen to a homily on his rivals.
"Seldwyla Folks" by Gottfried Keller

In poetry:

We cannot hold the hands of choice
That touch or shun life's fateful keys;
The whisper of the inward voice
Is more than homilies.
"A Name" by John Greenleaf Whittier
But burns the lust within the flesh?--
Hell's but a homily to Heaven,--
Put then the individual first,
And of thyself be shriven.
"Self" by Madison Julius Cawein
And the reader droned from the pulpit
Like the murmur of many bees,
The legend of good Saint Guthlac,
And Saint Basil's homilies;
"By The Fireside : King Witlaf's Drinking-horn" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"He lived the Truth which reconciled
The strong man Reason, Faith the child;
In him belief and act were one,
The homilies of duty done!"
"The Chapel of the Hermits" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Not to pander nor to please
Come the needed homilies,
With no lofty argument
Is the fitting message sent,
Through such lips as Morrison's.
"Abram Morrison" by John Greenleaf Whittier
What histories of life are here,
More wild than all romancers' stories;
What wondrous transformations queer,
What homilies on human glories!
"Vanitas Vanitatum" by William Makepeace Thackeray

In news:

Transcript of the Archbishop's Homily : Securing a Foundation of Faith.
Jozef Cardinal Glemp, the Roman Catholic Primate of Poland, told a dozen leaders of Jewish groups today that he recognized the pain caused by statements he made in a widely publicized homily in August 1989.
Homily Background for December 25, 2011.
Homily Background for November 27, 2011.
Pope's Homily for Nascent Human Life Vigil.
Pope Urges Repentance in Homily.
Homily Background for May 23, 2010.
From the Pope's homily at the Mass of the Lord's Supper, via Zenit.
Homily Background for March 14, 2010.
I have several CDs which provide musical-spiritual accompaniment in preparing liturgies and homilies during this holy season.
Pope John Paul II called the Sistine chapel , "the shrine of the theology of the human body," in a homily following restorations for the space in 1994.
Homily Background for December 6, 2009.
This is my Christmas Eve homily.
The family friendly service at 6:30pm will not have this 10 minute homily, rather an extra story instead.
Jenny Nam's funeral homily, preached in Hong Kong July 19.