\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

Tallon has continuously preached developing depth down the middle at center. Matthew Defranks,, "Dale Tallon on Toronto signing John Tavares: 'But we're going to be a top contender as well'," 1 July 2018 The Giants as an organization preach patience and place faith in veterans, but that philosophy is going to get tested. Scott Ostler,, "Giants may need a changing of the guard: Pence/Jackson out, Slater/Duggar in," 20 June 2018 Policy makers preached with certainty: stimulate job creation, and all manner of social ills will fade away. John Schmid, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "What stops a bullet? Milwaukee can learn from L.A. program that has turned to trauma care," 18 June 2018 As someone who preaches fluid movement on offense and stingy defense, Brannen's long-term commitment provides stability for a program looking for a second-consecutive Horizon League regular season title. Charlie Hatch,, "John Brannen signs four-year NKU contract extension through 2021-22 season," 29 June 2018 And the oddity in that is in sports who preach the opposite. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Investor and lacrosse player Paul Rabil on Too Embarrassed to Ask," 18 June 2018 And he got elected because of the platforms of people like Frank Bruni, who continually preach adherence to norms and believe any deviation from them is a losing strategy. Drew Magary, GQ, "This Is Why Trump Won," 14 June 2018 Greear, 45, a megachurch pastor from North Carolina who sometimes preaches in jeans and shirts with no sport coat, faces pastor and former seminary president Ken Hemphill, 70, in the presidential election. CBS News, "Georgia church expelled by Southern Baptists over racism claim," 12 June 2018 Strahm is among the many pitchers who have benefited from talking with veteran Craig Stammen, who preaches and practices a simple philosophy of throwing early strikes. Kevin Acee,, "Matt Strahm starting to show stuff, will start Wednesday," 5 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

9 Nov 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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Comments on preach

What made you want to look up preach? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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