AskDefine | Define amen

Dictionary Definition

Amen n : a primeval Egyptian personification of air and breath; worshipped especially at Thebes [syn: Amon]

User Contributed Dictionary



From ecclesiastical Latin amen, from Greek ἀμήν, from Hebrew אמן ‘certainly, truly’ (cognate with Arabic ’amīn).


  • /eɪˈmɛn/, /ɑ:ˈmɛn/, /eI"mEn/, /A:"mEn/
    Rhymes with: -ɛn


  1. At the end of prayers: so be it.
    • 1662, Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen. — Book of Common Prayer
    • Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen, and praised the Lord. And the people did according to this promise. — Nehemiah 5:13, KJV
    • Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen. — Psalm 72:18-19, KJV
  2. At the end of a creed or in Biblical translations: truly, verily.
    Amen, amen, I say to thee, except a man be born again, he can not see the kingdom of God. — John ii. 3. Rhemish Translation


so be it
  • Finnish: aamen
  • French: amen
  • German: Amen
  • Polish: amen
  • Russian: аминь
truly, verily
  • Chinese:
    Mandarin: (āmen)
  • Finnish: totisesti
  • French: amen
  • German: Amen
  • Polish: amen
  • Russian: аминь


  • 1999 May, Matt Groening, “Hell Is Other Robots”, Futurama, season 1, episode 9
    Fry: Bender's stupid religion is driving me nuts!
    Leela: Amen!


  1. An expression of strong agreement.


  1. An instance of saying ‘amen’.
  2. A title of Christ; the Faithful One (especially with reference to Revelation 3:14)
    • 1611, And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God — Revelation 3:14, KJV


  • French: amen
Persian: آمین




  1. At the end of prayers: so be it.
    • Í guðanna bænum, amen.
  2. At the end of a creeds or in Biblical translations: truly, verily.


  1. Expressing strong agreement.



  1. third-person plural subjunctive present of amar
  2. third-person plural imperative of amar

Extensive Definition

The word Amen ( ; , ’Āmīn ; "So be it; truly" Its use in Judaism dates back to its earliest texts. It has been generally adopted in Christian worship as a concluding formula for prayers and hymns., as in, for instance, amen to that.


Amen, meaning so be it, is of Hebrew origin. The word was imported into the Greek of the early Church from the Jewish synagogue. From Greek, amen entered the other Western languages. According to a standard dictionary etymology, amen passed from Greek into Late Latin, and thence into English.
The Hebrew word ’amen derives from the Hebrew verb ’aman, a primitive root. Grammarians frequently list ’aman under its three consonants (’mn), which are identical to those of ’amen .
Popular among some theosophists and adherents of esoteric Christianity is the conjecture that amen is a derivative of the name of the Egyptian god named Amun (which is sometimes also spelled Amen). There is no academic support for this view.

Biblical usages

Three distinct Biblical usages of amen may be noted.
Liturgically, amen is a communal response to be recited at certain points during the prayer service. It is recited communally to affirm a blessing made by the prayer reader. It is also mandated as a response during the kaddish doxology. The congregation is sometimes prompted to answer 'amen' by the terms ve-'imru (Hebrew: ואמרו) = "and [now] say (pl.)," or, ve-nomar (ונאמר) = "and let us say."
Contemporary usage reflects ancient practice: As early as the 4th century BCE, Jews assembled in the Temple responded 'amen' at the close of a doxology or other prayer uttered by a priest. This Jewish liturgical use of amen was adopted by the Christians.
But Jewish law also requires individuals to answer amen whenever they hear a blessing recited, even in a non-liturgical setting. Amen is also used whenever an individual wishes to fulfill his own obligation through another person’s recitation of a prayer or blessing.
The Talmud teaches homiletically that the word Amen can be read as an acronym for אל מלך נאמן (’El melekh ne’eman), meaning "God, trustworthy King." The word amen itself is etymologically related to the Hebrew word emuna ("faith") implying that one is affirming with, and of, "the faith" of Judaism (and its belief in Monotheism).
Jews usually pronounce the word as it is pronounced in Hebrew: "aw-MÉN" (Ashkenazi) or "ah-MÉN" (Sephardi). These are transcribed in IPA as [ɔ'mɛɪn] and [a'mɛn] respectively.

Amen in Christianity

The uses of amen ("verily") in the Gospels form a peculiar class; they are initial, but often lack any backward reference. Jesus used the word to affirm his own utterances, not those of another person, and this usage was adopted by the church. The use of the initial amen, single or double in form, to introduce solemn statements of Jesus in the Gospels had no parallel in Jewish practice. The liturgical use of the word in apostolic times is attested by the passage from 1 Corinthians cited above, and Justin Martyr (c. 150) describes the congregation as responding "amen," to the benediction after the celebration of the Eucharist.. However not all Muslims share in this verbal tradition. The word "Amen" is not found anywhere in the Quran. Amin (al-Amin) is a nickname for Mohammed. The Islamic use of the word is the same as the Jewish use of the word.

Common Uses

Amen Sister! Amen to that. In prayer, to conclude a prayer Amen - I agree strongly to the suggested comment.
amen in Czech: Amen
amen in German: Amen
amen in Estonian: Aamen
amen in Modern Greek (1453-): Αμήν
amen in Spanish: Amén
amen in French: Amen (parole)
amen in Scottish Gaelic: Amen
amen in Korean: 아멘
amen in Croatian: Amen
amen in Icelandic: Amen
amen in Italian: Amen
amen in Hebrew: אמן (דת)
amen in Lithuanian: Amen
amen in Lingala: Amen
amen in Dutch: Amen (gebed)
amen in Japanese: アーメン
amen in Norwegian: Amen
amen in Polish: Amen
amen in Portuguese: Amém
amen in Russian: Аминь
amen in Slovak: Amen
amen in Slovenian: Amen
amen in Serbian: Амин (религија)
amen in Finnish: Aamen
amen in Swedish: Amen
amen in Tamil: ஆமென்
amen in Wolof: Amiin
amen in Chinese: 阿們

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

OK, Roger, absolutely, affirmative, affirmative attitude, affirmativeness, agreed, all right, alright, alrighty, as you say, assuredly, aye, be it so, by all means, certainly, da, done, exactly, fine, good, good enough, hear, indeed, indeedy, it is that, ja, just so, mais oui, most assuredly, naturally, naturellement, nod, nod of assent, of course, okay, oui, positively, precisely, quite, rather, really, right, right as rain, right you are, righto, so be it, so is it, so it is, sure, sure thing, surely, that is so, thumbs-up, to be sure, truly, very well, well and good, why yes, yea, yea-saying, yeah, yep, yes, yes indeed, yes indeedy, yes sir, yes sirree, you are right, you bet, you said it, you speak truly
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