- 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.
litany definition by Webster's New World
- a series of fixed invocations and responses, used as a prayer
- any dreary or repetitive recital or account
Origin: Middle English letanie ; from Old French ; from Ecclesiastical Late Latin litania ; from Ecclesiastical Greek litaneia ; from Classical Greek litanos, pleading ; from litē, a request
litany definition by American Heritage Dictionary
noun pl. lit·a·nies
- A liturgical prayer consisting of a series of petitions recited by a leader alternating with fixed responses by the congregation.
- A repetitive or incantatory recital: “the litany of layoffs in recent months by corporate giants” (Sylvia Nasar).
Origin: Middle 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.
litany - Cultural 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.”