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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Calver preached moderation and healthy living and dispensed the kind of advice we are used to hearing these days. Bryant Stamford, The Courier-Journal, 22 Feb. 2024 Johnson preaches perhaps the most brazen iteration of Silicon Valley’s emerging obsession with AI and commitment to restructuring society around the technology. Matteo Wong, The Atlantic, 22 Feb. 2024 Frankly, the last person who should be preaching about wasting taxpayer money is Dixon, who lavished taxpayer money on her sister, her campaign chair and her boyfriend. Reader Commentary, Baltimore Sun, 10 Feb. 2024 People were rooting for the plucky upstart team with a coach who was not afraid of the team’s history and preached a consistent message for emerging out of the darkness, but the real fandom picked up during the 2022 season. Jared Ramsey, Detroit Free Press, 19 Jan. 2024 Ryans constantly preaches the importance of winning the turnover battle and knows Houston will have to do it again this week to be successful. Noah Trister, USA TODAY, 18 Jan. 2024 Robinson, who has taught Bible classes and preached at her church in Iowa City, Iowa, is a learned lay theologian of the Calvinist variety. Judith Shulevitz, The Atlantic, 10 Feb. 2024 In American schools, the Muslim activist is often presented as the violent counterpart of Martin Luther King, Jr., who preached nonviolence. TIME, 1 Feb. 2024 As these legacy brands undergo major rebranding to appeal to the new generation of shoppers, those preaching body positivity and diversity such as Fenty Beauty, American Eagle Outfitters Inc.’s Aerie brand and Skims have found commercial success. Ashley Ahn, Los Angeles Times, 19 Jan. 2024 See More

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 5 Mar. 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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