pray

verb
\ˈprā \
prayed; praying; prays

Definition of pray 

transitive verb

1 : entreat, implore often used as a function word in introducing a question, request, or plea pray be careful

2 : to get or bring by praying

intransitive verb

1 : to make a request in a humble manner

2 : to address God or a god with adoration, confession, supplication, or thanksgiving

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Examples of pray in a Sentence

There's little else to do now but hope and pray. The minister said, “Let us pray.” He prayed that they would have the strength to go on. He prayed that he would find a parking spot.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Around sunset, dozens of them knelt in a circle, held each other, and prayed. Joshua Partlow, chicagotribune.com, "Inside the church where Nicaraguan paramilitaries laid siege on university students," 14 July 2018 She and Elaine Silveus sat in the restaurant booth and prayed Lee Gudeman would survive as Jones helped him that evening. Amy Lavalley, Post-Tribune, "Choking victim reunites with lifesaver nurse at Valparaiso restaurant: 'Because of you, I'm still alive'," 3 July 2018 Some say she was strangled with a silken cord while praying, and others claim she was smothered between two feather mattresses. Anne Thériault, Longreads, "Queens of Infamy: Joanna of Naples," 3 July 2018 The owners are hoping and praying that their new anthem rule will make that sticky situation go away, and Lynch could be the wild card. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "Scott Ostler: Deep thoughts, cheap shots & bon mots," 30 June 2018 The children wrapped themselves in Mylar blankets and sat in the center of a large prayer circle, and clergy and parents prayed over them. CBS News, "House vote on "compromise" immigration bill delayed until next week," 21 June 2018 Jacquelyn Singer, Brady's mother sitting in a front-row seat down the third-base sideline, ran into the bathroom and prayed. Jordan Mcpherson, miamiherald, "Before his pro baseball career starts, UF's ace has eyes on the College World Series," 14 June 2018 In his keynote address, Lee plans to tell a story from his career, of working as a chaplain at the Pentagon after 9/11, giving comfort to soldiers and praying over remains from the site. Libby Solomon, baltimoresun.com, "Towson pastor, National Guard chaplain to speak about sacrifice at Memorial Day ceremony," 21 May 2018 Many of the Sakyong’s followers are praying for him. Andy Newman, New York Times, "The ‘King’ of Shambhala Buddhism Is Undone by Abuse Report," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pray.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of pray

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for pray

Middle English, from Anglo-French prier, praer, preier, from Latin precari, from prec-, prex request, prayer; akin to Old High German frāga question, frāgēn to ask, Sanskrit pṛcchati he asks

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Dictionary Entries near pray

-praxia

praxis

Praxiteles

pray

praya

prayer

prayer bead

Phrases Related to pray

pray tell

Statistics for pray

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pray

The first known use of pray was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for pray

pray

verb

English Language Learners Definition of pray

: to speak to God especially in order to give thanks or to ask for something

: to hope or wish very much for something to happen

: to seriously ask (someone) to do something

pray

verb
\ˈprā \
prayed; praying

Kids Definition of pray

1 : to speak to God especially to give thanks or ask for something

2 : to hope or wish very much for I prayed no one would forget.

3 : to ask earnestly : beg Do not leave, I pray you.

Legal Definition of pray 

: to ask for plaintiff prays judgment against the defendants used especially in pleadings

intransitive verb

: to make a request of a court especially in a complaint or petition complainant prays for declaratory relief

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Comments on pray

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