American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To utter or address a prayer or prayers to God, a god, or another object of worship.
- v. To make a fervent request or entreaty.
- v. To utter or say a prayer or prayers to; address by prayer.
- v. To ask (someone) imploringly; beseech. Now often used elliptically for I pray you to introduce a request or entreaty: Pray be careful.
- v. To make a devout or earnest request for: I pray your permission to speak.
- v. To move or bring by prayer or entreaty.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To ask earnestly; beg; entreat; supplicate, as for a personal grace or favor.
- In religious usage, to make devout petition to God, or (in some forms of religion) to any object of worship, as a saint or an angel; more generally, to enter into spiritual communion with God, usually through the medium of speech. See prayer.
- I pray, usually, by ellipsis, pray, a common formula introducing a question, invitation, suggestion, or request. Compare prithee.
- To ask earnestly; beg; entreat; supplicate; urge.
- In religious usage, to address a desire or petition to (specifically to God) devoutly and with reverence.
- To offer up, as a prayer; utter in devotion.
- To make entreaty or petition for; crave; implore: as, the plaintiff prays judgment of the court.
- To effect, move, or bring by prayer or entreaty: followed by an adverb or a preposition particularizing the meaning.
- Synonyms To crave, implore, beseech, petition, importune. See prayer.
- An obsolete spelling of prey.
- A dialectal form of pry.
- v. To petition or solicit help from a supernatural or higher being.
- v. To humbly beg a person for aid or their time.
- v. religion to communicate with God for any reason.
- adv. please; used to make a polite request.
GNU Webster's 1913
- obsolete See pry.
- v. To make request with earnestness or zeal, as for something desired; to make entreaty or supplication; to offer prayer to a deity or divine being as a religious act; specifically, to address the Supreme Being with adoration, confession, supplication, and thanksgiving.
- v. To address earnest request to; to supplicate; to entreat; to implore; to beseech.
- v. To ask earnestly for; to seek to obtain by supplication; to entreat for.
- v. To effect or accomplish by praying.
- v. address a deity, a prophet, a saint or an object of worship; say a prayer
- v. call upon in supplication; entreat.
- From Middle English preien, from Anglo-Norman preier, from Old French preier, proier, (French prier), from Late Latin precāre, from Latin precārī, present active infinitive of precor, from prex, precis, “a prayer, a request”; akin to Sanskrit prach “to ask”, Old English frignan, fricgan, German fragen, Dutch vragen. Confer deprecate, imprecate, precarious. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English preien, from Old French preier, from Latin precārī, from precē, pl. of *prex, prayer; see prek- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“First get into good shape to pray, and then with all your praying strength and skill _pray_.”
“Now, how kin I pray, not to say _pray_, out yer, in this yer lan '?”
“No! I will think of the tyranny and the revolt; I will pray, yes, _pray_ that I might have courage to do as they did!”
“Kneel down and pray, pray, _pray_ to God to help your father to get away from them.”
“Oh! Doctor Bryerly, pray, _pray_ who is the friend, and where is he going?”
“O no, my dear, it is _to pray, to pray_ as God would have us; this is what at times makes me turn cold to my soul.”
“FATHER, "our Blessed Lord has given us the substance of all that can be said, as to _the privilege of prayer, what to pray for_, and _how to pray_.”
“Mamma, I will try to be perfectly submissive to his will, even if it is to take you away from me; but oh, I must pray, pray, _pray_ as hard as I can that it may please him to spare your dear life and let me keep my mother at least till I am grown to be a man.”
“Ask as a traveller asks the way; to pray is to enquire of God, Ezek. xxxvi.”
“This explanation of "pray" is needed by its logical connection with "prayer in an unknown tongue" (1Co 14: 14).”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘pray’.
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