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prayer1

[prair] /prɛər/
noun
1.
a devout petition to God or an object of worship.
2.
a spiritual communion with God or an object of worship, as in supplication, thanksgiving, adoration, or confession.
3.
the act or practice of praying to God or an object of worship.
4.
a formula or sequence of words used in or appointed for praying:
the Lord's Prayer.
5.
prayers, a religious observance, either public or private, consisting wholly or mainly of prayer.
6.
that which is prayed for.
7.
a petition; entreaty.
8.
the section of a bill in equity, or of a petition, that sets forth the complaint or the action desired.
9.
a negligible hope or chance:
Do you think he has a prayer of getting that job?
Origin of prayer1
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English preiere < Old French < Medieval Latin precāria, noun use of feminine of precārius obtained by entreaty, equivalent to prec- (stem of prex) prayer + -ārius -ary; cf. precarious
Related forms
prayerless, adjective
prayerlessly, adverb
prayerlessness, noun
Can be confused
pray, prayer, prey.

prayer2

[prey-er] /ˈpreɪ ər/
noun
1.
a person who prays.
Origin
First recorded in 1400-50, prayer is from the late Middle English word preyare. See pray, -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for prayer
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Can you let me go down to the grave without teaching me one prayer.

    Debts of Honor Maurus Jkai
  • Or her, whose life the Church and scandal share, For ever in a passion, or a prayer.

    Essay on Man Alexander Pope
  • But carefully note the reason appended to the prayer: “they know not what they do.”

    Gloria Crucis J. H. Beibitz
  • My knees are bowed, my hands are clasped in prayer— Good night, dear love!

    Poems Frances Anne Butler
  • Flaker knew that the reindeer dance was a prayer of the Cave-men to their gods.

    The Later Cave-Men Katharine Elizabeth Dopp
British Dictionary definitions for prayer

prayer1

/prɛə/
noun
1.
  1. a personal communication or petition addressed to a deity, esp in the form of supplication, adoration, praise, contrition, or thanksgiving
  2. any other form of spiritual communion with a deity
2.
a similar personal communication that does not involve adoration, addressed to beings venerated as being closely associated with a deity, such as angels or saints
3.
the practice of praying: prayer is our solution to human problems
4.
(often pl) a form of devotion, either public or private, spent mainly or wholly praying: morning prayers
5.
(capital when part of a recognized name) a form of words used in praying: the Lord's Prayer
6.
an object or benefit prayed for
7.
an earnest request, petition, or entreaty
8.
(law) a request contained in a petition to a court for the relief sought by the petitioner
9.
(slang) a chance or hope: she doesn't have a prayer of getting married
Derived Forms
prayerless, adjective
Word Origin
C13 preiere, from Old French, from Medieval Latin precāria, from Latin precārius obtained by begging, from prex prayer

prayer2

/ˈpreɪə/
noun
1.
a person who prays
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for prayer
n.

c.1300, from Old French prier "prayer, petition, request" (12c., Modern French prière), from Medieval Latin precaria "petition, prayer," noun use of Latin adjective precaria, fem. of precarius "obtained by prayer, given as a favor," from precari "to ask, beg, pray" (see pray). Related: Prayers.

Prayer-book attested from 1590s; prayer-meeting from 1780. To not have a prayer "have no chance" is from 1941.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for prayer

prayer

Related Terms

have a prayer

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Word Value for prayer

11
11
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