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

  • transitive v. To proclaim or put forth in a sermon: preached the gospel.
  • transitive v. To advocate, especially to urge acceptance of or compliance with: preached tolerance and peaceful coexistence.
  • transitive v. To deliver (a sermon).
  • intransitive v. To deliver a sermon.
  • intransitive v. To give religious or moral instruction, especially in a tedious manner.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Give a sermon.
  • v. Advocate or support verbally in an insisting, urging, or inciting manner.
  • n. A religious discourse.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A religious discourse.
  • intransitive v. To proclaim or publish tidings; specifically, to proclaim the gospel; to discourse publicly on a religious subject, or from a text of Scripture; to deliver a sermon.
  • intransitive v. To give serious advice on morals or religion; to discourse in the manner of a preacher.
  • transitive v. To proclaim by public discourse; to utter in a sermon or a formal religious harangue.
  • transitive v. To inculcate in public discourse; to urge with earnestness by public teaching.
  • transitive v. To deliver or pronounce.
  • transitive v. To teach or instruct by preaching; to inform by preaching.
  • transitive v. To advise or recommend earnestly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make a public announcement; especially, to pronounce a public discourse upon a religious subject, or from a text of Scripture; deliver a sermon.
  • To give earnest advice, especially on religious or moral subjects; also, to give advice obtrusively on religious or moral matters.
  • To proclaim as a herald; declare; make known; publish.
  • To inculcate (especially religious or moral truth or right conduct) in public or private discourse.
  • To deliver, as a public religious discourse; pronounce, as a sermon.
  • To affect by preaching, in a manner indicated by the context: as, to preach one into a penitent or a rebellious mood.
  • To silence or suppress by preaching: as, to preach down unbelief.
  • n. A sermon; a religious discourse.

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

  • v. speak, plead, or argue in favor of
  • v. deliver a sermon


Middle English prechen, from Old French preechier, from Late Latin praedicāre, from Latin, to proclaim : prae-, pre- + dicāre, to proclaim; see deik- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English prechen, from Old French precchier (Modern French prêcher), from Latin praedicāre, present active infinitive of praedicō. (Wiktionary)


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