prayer beads

plural noun

: a string of beads by which prayers are counted
specifically : rosary

Examples of prayer beads in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Stuart found her mother-in-law’s ashes, and the delicate white box that held her late husband’s prayer beads. Ariane Lange, Sacramento Bee, 2 Feb. 2024 They were briefed by another volunteer, who wore a paisley dress above trench boots and had mala prayer beads on her wrist. Jasper Lo, The New Yorker, 4 Nov. 2023 Folding chairs, blankets, prayer shawls and prayer beads were also on offer — everything needed for iftar, the evening meal that breaks the fast, at Al Aqsa Mosque. Raja Abdulrahim, New York Times, 11 Apr. 2023 Sitting in his stall in Kabul one recent afternoon, one vendor, Mohammad Nasir thumbed a string of red prayer beads in his hand, musing on the city’s seemingly sudden economic decline. David Zucchino The New York Times, New York Times, 12 Aug. 2022 Head scarves were banned in public buildings; the state selected the country’s clergy, or ulema, and closely monitored their sermons for the slightest expression of religiosity; prayer beads or facial hair were viewed with suspicion. New York Times, 12 May 2022 And, of course, there’s the usual smack talk among Rams and Bengals fans about who loves their team most, who bleeds the most blue or orange, who clutches the most prayer beads or requires the most CPR compressions on game days. Dan Horn, The Enquirer, 7 Feb. 2022 The two men share a meal together; Samir, nervous, worries at a ring of prayer beads. Julian Joslin, The New Yorker, 18 Nov. 2021 Lying on the sand under a tree, fiddling with his prayer beads, the aging village sheikh sprang to his feet, shouting at his son to chase the police. New York Times, 25 Oct. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'prayer beads.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1630, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of prayer beads was in 1630

Dictionary Entries Near prayer beads

Cite this Entry

“Prayer beads.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!