from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A reverent petition made to God, a god, or another object of worship.
  • noun The act of making a reverent petition to God, a god, or another object of worship.
  • noun An act of communion with God, a god, or another object of worship, such as in devotion, confession, praise, or thanksgiving.
  • noun A specially worded form used to address God, a god, or another object of worship.
  • noun A religious observance in which praying predominates.
  • noun A fervent request.
  • noun The thing requested.
  • noun The slightest chance or hope.
  • noun The request for relief by a party initiating a lawsuit, stated in the pleadings.
  • noun The portion of the pleadings that contains this request.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of beseeching, entreating, or supplicating; supplication; entreaty; petition; suit.
  • noun In religious usage, a devout petition to an object of worship, as God, or a saint or an angel; an orison: confined in Protestant usage to such petitions addressed to God; more generally, any spiritual communion with God, including confession, petition, adoration, praise, and thanksgiving. See dulia.
  • noun The practice of praying, or of communing with God.
  • noun The form of words used in praying; a formula of worship: as, the Lord's Prayer.
  • noun A form of religious service; a religious observance, either public or private, consisting mainly of prayer to God; a liturgy: often in the plural: as, the service of morning prayer; family prayers.
  • noun That part of a memorial or petition to a public body, or of a bill of complaint in equity, which specifies the thing desired to be done or granted, as distinct from the recital of facts or reasons for the grant.
  • noun See the qualifying words.
  • noun One who prays; a suppliant; a petitioner.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun One who prays; a supplicant.
  • noun The act of praying, or of asking a favor; earnest request or entreaty; hence, a petition or memorial addressed to a court or a legislative body.
  • noun The act of addressing supplication to a divinity, especially to the true God; the offering of adoration, confession, supplication, and thanksgiving to the Supreme Being
  • noun The form of words used in praying; a formula of supplication; an expressed petition; especially, a supplication addressed to God
  • noun a book containing devotional prayers.
  • noun a meeting or gathering for prayer to God.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun One who prays.
  • noun A practice of communicating with one's God.
  • noun The act of praying.
  • noun The specific words or methods used for praying.
  • noun A meeting held for the express purpose of praying.
  • noun A request; a petition.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a fixed text used in praying
  • noun someone who prays to God
  • noun earnest or urgent request
  • noun the act of communicating with a deity (especially as a petition or in adoration or contrition or thanksgiving)
  • noun reverent petition to a deity


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English preiere, from Old French, from Medieval Latin precāria, from feminine of Latin precārius, obtained by entreaty, from precārī, to entreat; see pray.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

to pray + -er.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English preiere, from Anglo-Norman preiere, from Old French priere, proiere, from Medieval Latin or Late Latin precāria, feminine of Latin precārius ("obtained by entreaty"), from precor ("beg, entreat").


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  • 'May you do for La Hire what you would like La Hire to do for you, if you were La Hire and La Hire were God.' -famous prayer of Etienne do Vignolles, commonly called La Hire, mercenary and soldier of Joan of Arc.

    February 19, 2008

  • "And by prayer, I don't mean shouting, mumbling, and wallowing like a hog in religious sentiment. Prayer is only another name for good, clean, direct thinking. When you pray, think. Think well what you're saying. Make your thoughts into things that are solid. In that way, your prayer will have strength, and that strength will become a part of you, body, mind, and spirit."

    How Green Was My Valley

    March 11, 2013