Definition of pray verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    pray

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//preɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//preɪ//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they pray
    BrE BrE//preɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//preɪ//
     
    he / she / it prays
    BrE BrE//preɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//preɪz//
     
    past simple prayed
    BrE BrE//preɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//preɪd//
     
    past participle prayed
    BrE BrE//preɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//preɪd//
     
    -ing form praying
    BrE BrE//ˈpreɪɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpreɪɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1   [intransitive, transitive] to speak to God, especially to give thanks or ask for help They knelt down and prayed. pray for somebody/something I'll pray for you. to pray for peace pray to somebody (for somebody/something) She prayed to God for an end to her sufferings. pray (that)… We prayed (that) she would recover from her illness. pray to do something He prayed to be forgiven. + speech ‘Please God don't let it happen,’ she prayed.
  2. 2  [intransitive, transitive] to hope very much that something will happen pray (for something) We're praying for good weather on Saturday. pray that… I prayed that nobody would notice my mistake.
  3. Word Origin Middle English (in the sense ‘ask earnestly’): from Old French preier, from late Latin precare, alteration of Latin precari ‘entreat’.Extra examples Diane prayed over the body for a moment. He prayed for good weather. He thought if he prayed hard enough God might eventually listen. He was secretly praying that his offer would be rejected. I prayed to God for guidance. I silently prayed for my release. Let’s pray Mick doesn’t find out. My parents would always pray for rain. She asked the priest to pray with her. She prays constantly for forgiveness. We can hope and pray that no one gets hurt. I’ll pray for you. We prayed (that) he would recover from his illness. to pray for peace/​rain/​forgiveness
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: pray

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