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 Our Lady Queen of Angels parishioners prayed a rosary for the lives lost on Monday. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Kobe and Gianna Bryant went to church before fatal crash," 28 Jan. 2020 The congregation prayed for the health of their island home, and for the health of the community here. Carolyn Kormann, The New Yorker, "The Cost of Fleeing Climate Change," 10 Jan. 2020 During a deaf worship service, praying happens with open eyes and with lots of signing. Jana Bennett, The Conversation, "Deaf Christians often struggle to hear God’s word, but some find meaning in the richness of who they are," 26 Dec. 2019 There are a number of partial solutions: Seal all the wood on your stock, especially end grain, and then pray a lot. David E. Petzal, Field & Stream, "How to Weatherproof Your Rifle," 24 Dec. 2019 January 1950: Gopal Singh Visharad, the first plaintiff, files a civil suit in the Faizabad court in Uttar Pradesh, praying that the mosque’s premises be unlocked for worship of the idols. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "A timeline of a land dispute that has ripped India’s heart apart over seven decades," 9 Nov. 2019 Also, couldn’t hurt to pray for high winds and abnormal cold. Sam Farmerstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "AFC championship game prediction: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tennessee Titans," 19 Jan. 2020 At the White House at that precise moment, President Trump was scheduled to be hosting an event promoting the administration’s attempt to empower religious students to exercise their rights to pray at school. New York Times, "Angry Trump Says Focus Should Be on a Trade Deal, Not a ‘Hoax’," 16 Jan. 2020 The directive says students are allowed to pray alone or in groups during lunch and other free time. Washington Post, "Trump boosts school prayer, faith groups as he rallies base," 16 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for pray

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for pray

Last Updated

7 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pray.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/praying. Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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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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