\ 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.

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Other Words from preach

preachingly \ ˈprē-​chiŋ-​lē How to pronounce preach (audio) \ 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 VCs must aim to partner with rather than preach to industrial firms. Wal Van Lierop, Forbes, 5 July 2021 As the youngest daughter of Martin Luther King, who was assassinated by a white man, this sentiment was understandable, even though she was raised in a family that preach love in the face of hatred. John Baldoni, Forbes, 18 June 2021 Then there is a dispute about whether the SBC needs to purge some liberal-leaners not only on race, but on whether women may preach. John Brummett, Arkansas Online, 16 June 2021 But when a coach has to preach it and teach it, players must perform it. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, 25 Oct. 2020 That’s why many—from business coaches like Dethmer to military elites like the Navy SEALs—preach the benefits of breathing techniques, like Box Breathing or Win Hof methods. Rob Dube, Forbes, 11 May 2021 Dean Andrew Pearson, who has been on the clergy staff since 2011, will preach his last sermon as rector and dean on May 16. Efforts to reach him for comment were unsuccessful. al, 5 May 2021 Despite these enormous obstacles, tech leaders preach continued faith—and venture capital investment—having spent the last decade promising that our blissful self-driving future is just around the corner. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, 3 May 2021 Influential monks, who count army generals among those praying at their feet, preach that the Tatmadaw and Buddhist monkhood must unite to combat Islam. New York Times, 28 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for preach

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for preach

Last Updated

26 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Preach.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jul. 2021.

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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 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


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