- The definition of a litany is a long and tedious list.
When a person lists all the things that are wrong with his house, this is an example of a litany of complaints about his house.
- a series of fixed invocations and responses, used as a prayer
- any dreary or repetitive recital or account
Origin of litanyMiddle English letanie ; from Old French ; from Ecclesiastical Late Latin litania ; from Ecclesiastical Greek litaneia ; from Classical Greek litanos, pleading ; from litē, a request
- Christianity A liturgical prayer consisting of a series of petitions recited by a leader alternating with fixed responses by the congregation.
- A repetitive recital, series, or list: “the litany of layoffs in recent months by corporate giants” (Sylvia Nasar).
Origin of litanyMiddle English letanie, from Old French, from Medieval Latin letanīa, from Late Latin litanīa, from Late Greek litaneia, from Greek, entreaty, from litaneuein, to entreat, from litanos, entreating, from litē, supplication.
From Ancient Greek λιτανεία (litaneia, “prayer”), from λιτή (litē, “prayer, entreaty”).