View synonyms for pray


[ prey ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to offer devout petition, praise, thanks, etc., to (God or an object of worship).
  2. to offer (a prayer).
  3. to bring, put, etc., by praying:

    to pray a soul into heaven.

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

    Synonyms: implore, beseech, beg, supplicate, entreat, importune

  5. to make petition or entreaty for; crave:

    She prayed his forgiveness.

  6. to offer devout petition, praise, thanks, etc., to God or to an object of worship.
  7. 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 phrase


/ preɪ /


  1. whenintr, 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

  3. rare.
    tr to accomplish or bring by praying

    to pray a soul into the kingdom


  1. archaic.
    I beg you; please

    pray, leave us alone

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Other Words From

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

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Word History and Origins

Origin of pray1

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”

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Word History and Origins

Origin of pray1

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

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Example Sentences

He said parents of some of his students have emailed him, saying that they are praying for his safety and that their children fear he will contract the virus.

I prayed that this late-night scramble in a poorly ventilated hospital hallway wouldn’t become a superspreader event.

At night, she returns to the home she shares with her elderly mother-in-law, praying the coronavirus isn’t traveling inside her.

They’re also rated to last roughly 70 million clicks before they start to break down, so it should last for quite some time even if you fully subscribe to the “spray-and-pray” school of first-person shooting games.

If he and other Christians had been able to pray outside while senators voted inside, he feels certain it would have changed their votes.

Or as Azealia Banks would say, “I pray for this Clueless White Girl”.

That is a lot to pray for, but Pope Francis is praying for all of us.

“I wake up and I pray, and then I see visions and I explain all those to my mom,” who would give her canvases to re-create them.

Let us pray for peace, not violence for Ferguson and our country no matter what the jury in their wisdom might decide.

“I just pray that everyone just keep their children safe,” Anderson said.

"It is good to pray here," she said, in a tone the mildness and sincerity of which made the reproach more cutting.

What more could one desire of him, I pray, Than just to hop around and stand for K?

Nigel might pray to a pale Madonna; Isaacson dealt with a definitely blunted woman of the world.

He attempts to pray and make supplication—yea, even he endeavours to perform the service.

During this and the following days, old and young proceed from one church to another, to pray for the souls of the departed.


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