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See synonyms for: praypraying on

verb (used with object)
  1. to offer devout petition, praise, thanks, etc., to (God or an object of worship).

  2. to offer (a prayer).

  1. to bring, put, etc., by praying: to pray a soul into heaven.

  2. to make earnest petition to (a person).

  3. to make petition or entreaty for; crave: She prayed his forgiveness.

  4. to offer devout petition, praise, thanks, etc., to God or to an object of worship.

  5. to enter into spiritual communion with God or an object of worship through prayer.

verb (used without object)
  1. to make entreaty or supplication, as to a person or for a thing.

Verb Phrases
  1. pray tell. See entry at pray tell.

Origin of pray

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English preien, from Old French preier, ultimately derived from Latin precārī “to beg, pray,” derivative of prex (stem prec- ) prayer; akin to Old English fricgan, Dutch vragen, German fragen, Gothic fraihnan “to ask”

Other words for pray

Other words from pray

  • pray·ing·ly, adverb
  • out·pray, verb (used with object)
  • un·pray·ing, adjective

Words that may be confused with pray

Words Nearby pray Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use pray in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for pray


/ (preɪ) /

  1. (when intr, often foll by for; when tr, usually takes a clause as object) to utter prayers (to God or other object of worship): we prayed to God for the sick child

  2. (when tr, usually takes a clause as object or an infinitive) to make an earnest entreaty (to or for); beg or implore: she prayed to be allowed to go; leave, I pray you

  1. (tr) rare to accomplish or bring by praying: to pray a soul into the kingdom

  1. archaic I beg you; please: pray, leave us alone

Origin of pray

C13: from Old French preier, from Latin precārī to implore, from prex an entreaty; related to Old English fricgan, Old High German frāgēn to ask, Old Norse fregna to enquire

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