\ 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

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

Its portrait of Rogers as a gentle man who preached kindness and tolerance as an antidote to the turbulence of the late 20th century seems to have struck a chord with viewers lamenting the harshness of politics and pop culture today. Beth J. Harpaz,, "It's a beautiful day in Pennsylvania on Mister Rogers' trail," 12 July 2018 Steyer: In American politics today, isn’t everybody preaching to the choir? James Pindell,, "Can an impeachment campaign actually work? And six more questions for Tom Steyer," 10 July 2018 The group set up a commune at the foot of Mount Fuji where Matsumoto preached to his followers and Aum’s scientists produced nerve gas. Alastair Gale, WSJ, "Japan Executes Leader of Doomsday Cult," 6 July 2018 Only one pastor who still preaches in Sacramento was born in Ireland, Looney said. Jordan Cutler-tietjen, sacbee, "How some Sacramentans will celebrate Independence Day in a town 4,000 miles from U.S.," 1 July 2018 Dustin was their fifth child, a hyperactive mess of red hair who sometimes preached at his father’s church in tiny Ekalaka, Montana. Alden Woods, azcentral, "Granite Mountain Hotshots: Five years on, Dustin DeFord's family finds peace in faith," 29 June 2018 Asahara, who married in the late 1970s and had six children, turned to studying Buddhism and Hindu theology before preaching both doctrines mixed with his own apocalyptic ideas. Author: Stuart Biggs, Gearoid Reidy, Anchorage Daily News, "Japan executes cult leader and 6 others for deadly 1995 sarin attack," 6 July 2018 This is why the presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, Michael Curry, will preach at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and his American fiancée Meghan Markle on Saturday, May 19. Lyndsey Matthews, Good Housekeeping, "What Religion Is the Royal Family?," 17 May 2018 That is the individualist code of Western capitalism, as it was preached by the philosopher Adam Smith (1723-1790), the father of free-market economics. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: A Boisterous ‘Low Road’ Finds the Potholes in Capitalism," 7 Mar. 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

14 Sep 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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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