\ ˈprēch \
preached; preaching; preaches

Definition of preach 

intransitive verb

1 : to deliver a sermon
2 : to urge acceptance or abandonment of an idea or course of action specifically : to exhort in an officious or tiresome manner

transitive verb

1 : to set forth in a sermon preach the gospel
2 : to advocate earnestly preached revolution
3 : to deliver (something, such as a sermon) publicly
4 : to bring, put, or affect by preaching preached the … church out of debtAmer. Guide Series: Va.

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Other Words from preach

preacher noun
preachingly \ ˈprē-​chiŋ-​lē \ adverb

Synonyms for preach



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Examples of preach in a Sentence

Have you ever heard that minister preach? The minister preached to the congregation about the need for tolerance. His followers listened to him preach the gospel. The priest preached a regular sermon that Sunday. Their mother has always preached the value of a good education. Practice what you preach—don't smoke if you tell your children not to smoke. The mayor continues to preach about the need for patience. I don't like being preached at about how I should live my life.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Hopkins is preaching poise to a team that didn’t show much of it last month during an 88-66 defeat at No. Percy Allen, The Seattle Times, "UW Huskies need their “A” game to snap 7-game losing streak at No. 1 Gonzaga," 5 Dec. 2018 For decades, the leaders of both parties preached the gospel that free trade was a rising tide that would lift all boats. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Elizabeth Warren wants to outflank Trump on trade," 29 Nov. 2018 Speaking to students at the University of the South Pacific, Markle preached the importance of higher education for women, weaving in personal experiences about attending college at Northwestern. D. Elizabeth, Glamour, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Sneaked in a Romantic Getaway During Their Royal Tour," 25 Oct. 2018 From Harlem to Oakland and too many points to count in between, O’Ree preaches a gospel of patience and power plays. Bryce Miller,, "San Diego's Willie O'Ree broke NHL color barrier, charted path to hockey Hall," 26 June 2018 Osteen does preach this, but not as overtly or as insistently as some other televangelists. Katherine Blunt, Houston Chronicle, "Lakewood Church's big budget, big brand are keys to Joel Osteen's success," 30 May 2018 Security practitioners have been preaching this gospel for years. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Password breach teaches Reddit that, yes, phone-based 2FA is that bad," 1 Aug. 2018 On her accounts, the new mom has been preaching mantras of kindness and positivity as of late. Megan Decker, Harper's BAZAAR, "Khloé Kardashian Shut Down a Fan Who Speculated About Her Relationship with Tristan Thompson," 4 June 2018 On Friday, Parson participated with his wife, Teresa, and about 70 others in a prayer service at a capital city Baptist church, where his brother Pastor Kent Parson preached about moving beyond the past and focusing on today. Washington Post, "Missouri governor quits in scandal, signs ‘revenge porn’ law," 2 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'preach.' 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 preach

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

History and Etymology for preach

Middle English prechen, from Anglo-French precher, from Late Latin praedicare, from Latin, to proclaim, make known, from prae- pre- + dicare to proclaim — more at diction

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Statistics for preach

Last Updated

21 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for preach

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

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More Definitions for preach



English Language Learners Definition of preach

: to make a speech about religion in a church or other public place : to deliver a sermon

: to write or speak about (something) in an approving way : to say that (something) is good or necessary

: to write or speak in an annoying way about the right way to behave


\ ˈprēch \
preached; preaching

Kids Definition of preach

1 : to give a sermon
2 : to urge publicly preach patience

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More from Merriam-Webster on preach

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with preach

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for preach

Spanish Central: Translation of preach

Nglish: Translation of preach for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of preach for Arabic Speakers

Comments on preach

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involving abstract or general statements

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