\ ˈprēch How to pronounce preach (audio) \
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.

Other Words from preach

preachingly \ ˈprē-​chiŋ-​lē How to pronounce preach (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for preach


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web While pre-Vatican II, circle-the-wagons Catholicism has shaped and sometimes warped her life, Rose continues to preach it to others. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 23 May 2022 A few months later, two of China’s most infamous proponents of censorship traveled to Moscow to preach their ideas of the internet to their Russian counterparts. New York Times, 18 Mar. 2022 The pies were a culinary tool to preach to the students the significance of 3.14 – the mathematical proof also known as Pi and π that is defined as the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Edward Lee,, 14 Mar. 2022 Trailing by a single point with 13 seconds remaining Saturday afternoon, Warrensville Heights head coach Ourtney Bryant used a timeout by Apple Creek Waynedale to preach to his team’s defense for one final stand. cleveland, 5 Mar. 2022 With the line between news and entertainment blurred, a rogue’s gallery of reporter-personality hybrids emerged on the major networks to preach to their respective choirs. Sascha Cohen, The Atlantic, 10 Sep. 2021 While crypto advocates typically preach independence from state and financial institutions, Stanley sees government and crypto as natural partners. Scott Nover, Quartz, 16 May 2022 There are so many people picking up books and following gurus that preach about the process, drinking certain teas in the morning and meditating. Roger Lockridge, Men's Health, 2 May 2022 DeSantis’ style of courting grievance might be the right way to win a primary in a Republican Party that has, at least since 2015, decided to preach from the gospel of Trumpism. Philip Elliott, Time, 19 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About preach

Time Traveler for preach

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near preach




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for preach

Last Updated

20 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Preach.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for preach


\ ˈprēch How to pronounce preach (audio) \
preached; preaching

Kids Definition of preach

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

More from Merriam-Webster on preach

Nglish: Translation of preach for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of preach for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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