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 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

Family members gathered outside the home Friday morning to pray for the victim and grieve his loss. Chelsea Prince, ajc, "Violent night in NW Atlanta ends with deadly shootout," 13 July 2018 Edwin spent time enjoying his retirement, praying and reading his Bible. Hartford Courant, courant.com, "Edwin M. Yearwood," 24 May 2018 In particular, the change seems to be concentrated among low-commitment evangelicals (those who attend church, pray, and look to religion for guidance on day-to-day matters less). Jeremy Castle, Vox, "Younger evangelicals look an awful lot like older evangelicals post-2016," 12 Nov. 2018 Her advice to other parents who have children with a mental illness is to pray and forgive yourself for past mistakes. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Stigma of suicide: Mom of teen found by former Wauwatosa alderman speaks out," 27 June 2018 The next few weeks will be the hardest so please help me out by praying and asking God to help me make sense of all this. Matthew Martinez, star-telegram, "He was arrested, in their car. Two days later, cops found charred skeletal remains," 18 June 2018 The truth is not one Eagles player kneeled during the season, but that didn’t stop Fox News from running a photo of players praying to help the president drive home his point. Stephen A. Crockett Jr., The Root, "The Patriotic President from Patriotism-ville Doesn't Know the Words to 'God Bless America'," 6 June 2018 Unlike resort-goers who have private pools and butlers, guesthouse visitors meander through where Maldivians live and pray. Niharika Mandhana, WSJ, "Maldives, a Destination for the 1%, Chases the Backpacker Buck," 10 Feb. 2019 One officer, along with his K9, knelt down next to the boy and prayed with him. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Police officers and K9s join boy with tumor to pray before his brain surgery," 13 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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Learn More about pray

Dictionary Entries near pray

-praxia

praxis

Praxiteles

pray

praya

prayer

prayer bead

Statistics for pray

Last Updated

18 Apr 2019

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
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pray

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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