Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



Middle English, from Old French letanie, from Ancient Greek λιτανεία (litaneía, prayer), from λιτή (litḗ, prayer, entreaty).


  • IPA(key): /ˈlɪtəni/
  • (file)


litany (plural litanies)

  1. A ritual liturgical prayer in which a series of prayers recited by a leader are alternated with responses from the congregation.
  2. (figurative) A prolonged or tedious list.
    • 1988, Prepared Foods, volume 157, number 11-13, page 9:
      The litany of packaging innovations introduced to or popularized in the U.S. food market over the last generation seems endless: flexible aseptic packaging, barrier plastics, squeezables, lightweight glass, the retort pouch, []
    • 2016 January 30, “America deserves more from presidential hopefuls”, in The National, retrieved 31 January 2016:
      There are, to be sure, some differences in how the candidates propose addressing this litany of concerns.
    • 2009 July 22, Josie Litton, Come Back to Me: A Novel (Viking & Saxon)‎[1], Random House Publishing Group, →ISBN, →OCLC, page 102:
      To that end he had sent his men among the common folk of the town, from whom came a litany of tales that led Hawk to a stunningly wrong conclusion. "It seems I may not be good enough at listening," he said regretfully.
    • 2022 December 15, David A Banks, “Crypto was supposed to solve financial corruption. The FTX scandal shows it’s got worse”, in The Guardian[2]:
      [Sam Bankman-Fried] is charged with a litany of fraud and campaign finance law violations, in what US prosecutors are calling “one of the biggest financial frauds in American history”.

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.