1. A religious discourse, especially one delivered as part of a service.
2. An often lengthy and tedious speech of reproof or exhortation: "his father's Teutonic and pedestrian sermon on the safety of staying home" (Paul Theroux).
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin sermō, sermōn-, discourse; see ser-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
ser·monic (-mŏnĭk), ser·moni·cal (-ĭ-kəl) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.