\ 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 preachingly (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 Now, as colleges of all sizes preach accountability to the campus community, the leaders of some small schools are finding their students particularly receptive to that message. Kelly Field, The Christian Science Monitor, "Can campus unity get small colleges past pandemic into the future?," 6 Oct. 2020 Van Noy’s play and the Dolphins' ensuing touchdown – a 1-yard run on a keeper by quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick – is the essence of complimentary football Flores loves to preach about to his team. Safid Deen,, "Dolphins defense enjoys timely plays from key standouts in first win of season vs. Jaguars," 25 Sep. 2020 This is the time to dangle the carrot of contribution in front of the entire roster, to facilitate the iron-sharpens-iron mentality OSU’s coaches preach for the preseason. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Will Ohio State football’s depth be tested more than ever in 2020 due to coronavirus unpredictability?," 25 Sep. 2020 Tucker said the coaches preach ball security to all the players, including Gabriel, during practice, emphasizing keeping the ball tight to their chests. Matt Murschel,, "UCF QB Dillon Gabriel’s feet give Knights' offense another dimension," 24 Sep. 2020 Some associations use these activities solely as a pretext to preach radical Islam, Mr. Macron said. Noemie Bisserbe, WSJ, "France’s Emmanuel Macron Targets ‘Islamic Separatism’ With Proposed Law," 2 Oct. 2020 Many of the nominees and winners used their camera time to preach about the importance of wearing masks and voting. Neal Justin, Star Tribune, "'Schitt's Creek' completely sweeps an unprecedented Emmy Awards," 21 Sep. 2020 Bicentennial committee co-chair Dorothy Baunach hoped guest preacher Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Jr. would preach Sunday from the steps, but the pandemic canceled plans. Cameron Fields, cleveland, "Old Stone Church celebrates 200-year anniversary as jewel of downtown Cleveland," 19 Sep. 2020 Sending missionaries around the world to preach the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Rev. Mike Taylor,, "Taylor: Even during this dark time, God has a plan for America | RELIGION COMMENTARY," 12 Sep. 2020

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

17 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Preach.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for preach


How to pronounce preach (audio)

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

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Comments on preach

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