\ 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 In Pfleger’s absence, guest pastors preach at the 1,500-member St. Sabina, which runs a school and community center. Fox News, "Chicago church rallies around priest after sexual abuse allegations," 15 Mar. 2021 Then, Clarkson marveled at how James, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith maintain consistent work habits and preach the importance of not taking any possessions off. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "After learning from Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, Jordan Clarkson thriving as Jazz sixth man," 19 Apr. 2021 Additionally, Izsrael and the think-tank hope to form a partnership with WLOU-AM to give them a larger platform and the ability to spotlight local hip-hop artists that preach positivity and change in their community. Andre Toran, The Courier-Journal, "How this positive Black radio station plans to promote sociopolitical change in Louisville," 14 Apr. 2021 The only difference is that Guyton will preach from his home, not from the pulpit. Vincent T. Davis, San Antonio Express-News, "Fire levels East Side church," 10 Apr. 2021 There is a philosophy that Brown’s father Kenneth likes to preach in their household: Whatever opportunities arise, tackle them head-on. Luca Evans, Los Angeles Times, "Mater Dei’s Elijah Brown is trying to ‘stand on his own two’," 2 Apr. 2021 The great 20th-century theologian Karl Barth counseled preachers to preach with a Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other. Annie Lane, oregonlive, "Dear Annie: Pastor says preaching on matters of justice will sound political to some," 10 Mar. 2021 In 2019, an offhand online remark from Ms. Moore about speaking at a Sunday morning service on Mother’s Day set off a sprawling evangelical debate about whether women should be allowed to preach in church. New York Times, "Beth Moore, a Prominent Evangelical, Splits With Southern Baptists," 10 Mar. 2021 The great 20th-century theologian Karl Barth counseled preachers to preach with a Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other. cleveland, "Dear Annie: It’s hard to keep politics out of church services," 9 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

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Preach.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 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

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Comments on preach

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