preached; preaching; preaches

intransitive verb

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

transitive verb

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web That was the mantra preached this season by the Imperial High School softball team after the Tigers claimed the CIF Division 3 championship a year ago. Rick Hoff, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 May 2024 Cunning Folk is her first book for general readers In 1552, the Protestant divine Hugh Latimer preached a sermon in Lincolnshire, England. Tabitha Stanmore, TIME, 24 May 2024 It's been two years since Helen Mirren covered PEOPLE's Beautiful Issue, and the Oscar winner is still preaching the power of swagger. Andrea Lavinthal, Peoplemag, 24 May 2024 Mullah Muhammad Omar, the Taliban’s leader, preached in his mosque there. Matthieu Aikins Victor J. Blue Peter Ganim Krish Seenivasan Steven Szczesniak, New York Times, 22 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for preach 

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near preach

Cite this Entry

“Preach.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


: to deliver a sermon : utter publicly
: to set forth in a sermon
preach the gospel
: to urge publicly : advocate
preach brotherhood

More from Merriam-Webster on preach

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