pray

verb
\ ˈprā How to pronounce pray (audio) \
prayed; praying; prays

Definition of pray

transitive verb

1 : entreat, implore often used as a function word in introducing a question, request, or pleapray 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 Anime fans expressed anger, prayed and mourned the victims on social media. Mari Yamaguchi, BostonGlobe.com, "Suspected arson in Japan anime studio kills 33," 18 July 2019 Salah, the Islamic prayer, is something that Muslims are prescribed to pray five times throughout the day, and increases when Ramadan comes around. Imani Bashir, Teen Vogue, "How I Learned to Love Ramadan," 10 May 2019 Those who behave — and that has been the majority for years — get communal meals and can pray in groups, and some can attend art and horticulture classes. New York Times, "The Cost of Running Guantánamo Bay: $13 Million Per Prisoner," 16 Sep. 2019 This symbol was used to pray to and conjure the African ancestors for protection. National Geographic, "400 years ago, enslaved Africans first arrived in Virginia," 13 Aug. 2019 Anime fans expressed anger, prayed and mourned for the victims on social media. Fortune, "Kyoto Animation, Hit by a Deadly Fire, Is Known for Its Top Quality Work," 18 July 2019 Native American tribes have been coming to Jeffers for centuries to do ceremonial work, fast, pray and teach lessons to children through the artwork. Jennifer Billock, Smithsonian, "Eight Spots in the United States Where You Can See Petroglyphs," 18 July 2019 Anime fans expressed anger, prayed and mourned for the victims at Kyoto Animation on social networks. Mari Yamaguchi, Cincinnati.com, "Man shouting 'You die' kills over 30 at Japan anime studio," 18 July 2019 Rory Kennedy postponed her wedding; the white tent that had been meant to house a reception for 275 guests was used instead as a site for family to gather and wait and pray. Adrienne Gaffney, Town & Country, "The Last Days of John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy," 9 July 2019

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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Statistics for pray

Last Updated

31 Oct 2019

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
How to pronounce pray (audio)

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
old-fashioned : to seriously ask (someone) to do something

pray

verb
\ ˈprā How to pronounce pray (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on pray

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pray

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pray

Spanish Central: Translation of pray

Nglish: Translation of pray for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pray for Arabic Speakers

Comments on pray

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