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From Old French simonie, from Late Latin simonia, named after Simon Magus (Hebrew שִׁמְעוֹן(Šimʻôn, Simon)), with reference to Acts 8:18–20.[1]


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈsaɪ.mə.ni/, /ˈsɪ.mə.ni/
    • (file)


simony (countable and uncountable, plural simonies)

  1. The buying or selling of spiritual or sacred things, such as ecclesiastical offices, pardons, or consecrated objects.
    • 1855, Anthony Trollope, chapter 20, in The Warden:
      To his eyes it had no attraction; it savoured of simony, and was likely to bring down upon him harder and more deserved strictures than any he had yet received: he positively declined to become vicar of Puddingdale under any circumstances.
    • 1989, Anthony Burgess, “Hun”, in The Devil’s Mode:
      ‘There are those two,’ he then said, ‘who were recently arraigned on a charge of high simony. Fancying a monstrance and stealing it and proposing to sell it. They pleaded the usual pagan ignorance.’
    • 2007, Edwin Mullins, The Popes of Avignon, Blue Bridge, published 2008, page 37:
      He openly practiced simony; in other words, he sold benefices.


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  1. ^ The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], 1611, →OCLC, Acts 8:18–20:
    And when Simon saw that through laying on of the Apostles hands, the holy Ghost was giuen, hee offered them money, Saying, Giue me also this power, that on whomsoeuer I lay handes, hee may receiue the holy Ghost. But Peter said vnto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

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