Hosanna Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

Hosanna is a fascinating word in terms of its etymological and religious origins. This is what it means and how to use it in your own vocabulary!

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Hosanna is one of the most popular and commonly understood words within the context of religion and faith. It generally has a lot of connotations with praise and worship and has deep shared roots with adoration and celebration of God in various contexts. One Christian holiday, Palm Sunday, even has this word associated with it as a primary method of expressing a shout of praise. 

If you’re ever going to be in a church or other religious location, it’s essential to know what this word means and how it is best used. And even if you aren’t in a spiritual environment, it can be helpful to understand what it means to use it as an exclamation of praise and excitement. This is what Hosanna means, where the word comes from, and how it has been continually used in the world. 

What Does Hosanna Mean?

Hosanna (hos-anna) is a word used in biblical, Christian, and Judaic traditions to express joy, blessings, and adoration. It was used by both chief priests and congregants throughout the history of Hebrew traditions to express worship towards the name of The Lord. 

In modern contexts, it is commonly used for Christians to acknowledge their love of Jesus, from whom they got their salvation. In these contexts, it is often a liturgical word that allows them to express how thankful they are for everything that Jesus has done for them. This is in direct parallel with the story of the triumphant entry, which is documented in the Bible in the gospels, and primarily in Luke 19 and Matthew 21, verses 1-11. 

Where Does the Word Hosanna Come From?

The word Hosanna has a long line of different terms in its etymological history. The absolute origin of the word is the Rabbinical Hebrew words hōša’nā or hoshi’a na, which is an abbreviation of the biblical hōšī‘ā-nnā, which means “save, we pray.” This phrase was found in the Old Testament in Psalm 118 and was shortened to be said more easily and quickly. 

As time went on, Greek became a more common language throughout the ancient world. This resulted in the Greek hōsanna. This Greek word primarily existed for the liturgical use of scribes, Jews, and Christians who didn’t speak the Hebrew language. As time went on and languages continued shifting, the word became the Late Latin osanna, the primary form that scholars throughout the western world interacted with. 

As English became more and more popular, the word turned into the Old English osanna, which existed primarily to allow people who went to a church or temple that mostly spoke English to use it in their own worship. 

How Is Hosanna Used in the Bible?

In the Bible, the story of the triumphal entry is the most commonplace in which Hosanna is referenced. This story is the foundation of Palm Sunday, one of the primary holidays in Christianity as a whole because it’s the Sunday before Easter and Good Friday. It is an important time of worship and remembrance of the fact that Jesus came to save the world, despite the sin of the world. 

The story begins with Jesus returning to Jerusalem, even though many Jewish leaders wanted to kill him. He had become known in Israel as the “Son of David,” which meant that he was in the lineage of the king and had the right to become the king of Israel. Jesus had come to be known as the messiah and savior of the world, and the people were excited to embrace the recognition of the messiahship of Jesus. 

He rode into the city on a colt, a sign in the ancient world and in Judaism of a king who was coming in peace. The people of Jerusalem were excited about that and used their cloaks and palm branches to create a path for Jesus riding into the city. Throughout this, they were crying “Hosanna!” as an imperative for Jesus to save them from their national captivity. 

How Is Hosanna Used in the Modern World?

The word Hosanna is commonly used in the context of Hoshana prayers, which are prayers that celebrate the power of God, and call for Him to take action in their lives. These prayers often meditate on verses of the New Testament that acknowledge the power and goodness of God and celebrate things that He has done in the past. 

In the modern world, Hosanna is also commonly used in worship music and art. It is a widespread way to attribute power and glory to God and bring him worship in a very traditional and celebratory way. While there are many different words used for these purposes, it’s common to hear this one in modern worship music. In most cases, when it is written into a worship song, it is used with the express purpose to sing about the thankfulness that people have for God saving them in the past and in the future. 


Hosanna is a word with a lot of historical and cultural implications. While it isn’t too common to find it in use in the secular world, it is still a significant word to know how to use. If you can find ways to implement it into your own daily conversations, it will definitely spice up your own vocabulary in many impactful ways. 

If you want to show people how much of a master of communication you are, feel free to take a look around! If you’re going to find out how to use even more words in the English language, feel free to take a look around our blog here at The Word Counter! We have countless articles detailing the more impressive terms in English in a way that will enable you to expand your own vocabulary and lexicon. 

The best tool that you can have at your disposal is good communication in the modern world. Here at The Word Counter, we’re here to make sure you can say everything you want to in the most effective way possible!


  1. What Does the Word ‘Hosanna’ Mean? Should We Still Use it Today? | Crosswalk
  2. What is the Meaning of “Hosanna” in the Bible? | Christianity.com
  3. Hosanna – Definition, Meaning & Synonyms | Vocabulary.com