prayer

1
[prair]

noun


Origin of prayer

1
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 formsprayer·less, adjectiveprayer·less·ly, adverbprayer·less·ness, noun
Can be confusedpray prayer prey

prayer

2
[prey-er]

noun

a person who prays.

Origin of prayer

2
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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Contemporary Examples of prayer

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British Dictionary definitions for prayer

prayer

1

noun

  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
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
the practice of prayingprayer is our solution to human problems
(often plural) a form of devotion, either public or private, spent mainly or wholly prayingmorning prayers
(capital when part of a recognized name) a form of words used in prayingthe Lord's Prayer
an object or benefit prayed for
an earnest request, petition, or entreaty
law a request contained in a petition to a court for the relief sought by the petitioner
slang a chance or hopeshe doesn't have a prayer of getting married
Derived Formsprayerless, adjective

Word Origin for prayer

C13 preiere, from Old French, from Medieval Latin precāria, from Latin precārius obtained by begging, from prex prayer

prayer

2

noun

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

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