American English

Definition of preach verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they preach
    he / she / it preaches
    past simple preached
    -ing form preaching
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to give a religious talk in a public place, especially in a church during a service She preached to the congregation about forgiveness. preach something The minister preached a sermon on the parable of the lost sheep.
  2. 2[transitive, intransitive] to tell people about a particular religion, way of life, system, etc. in order to persuade them to accept it preach something to preach the word of God He preached the virtues of capitalism to us. preach (about something) She preached about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Topic CollocationsReligionbeing religious believe in God/Christ/Allah/free will/predestination/heaven and hell/an afterlife/reincarnation be/become an agnostic/an atheist/a believer/a Buddhist/Christian/Hindu/Muslim, etc. convert to/practice a religion/Buddhism/Catholicism/Christianity/Islam/Judaism, etc. go to church/temple (= the synagogue) go to the local church/mosque/synagogue belong to a church/a religious community join/enter the Church/a convent/a monastery/the clergy/the priesthood/a religious sect/a cult praise/worship/obey/serve/glorify Godcelebrations and ritual attend/hold/conduct/lead a service perform a ceremony/a rite/a ritual/a baptism/the Hajj/a bar mitzvah/a bat mitzvah carry out/perform a sacred/burial/funeral/fertility/purification rite/the last rites go on/make a pilgrimage celebrate Christmas/Diwali/Easter/Eid/Hanukkah/Passover/Ramadan observe/break the Sabbath/a fast/Ramadan deliver/preach/hear a sermon lead/address the congregation say/recite a prayer/blessingreligious texts and ideas preach/proclaim/spread the word of God/the Gospel/the message of Islam/a message study/follow the dharma/the teachings of Buddha read/study/understand/interpret scripture/the Bible/the Koran/the Gospel/the Torah be based on/derived from divine revelation commit/consider something heresy/sacrilegereligious belief and experience seek/find/gain enlightenment/wisdom strengthen/lose/question your faith keep/practice/abandon the faith save/purify/lose your soul obey/follow/keep/break/violate a commandment/Islamic law/Jewish law be/accept/do God's will receive/experience divine grace achieve/attain enlightenment/salvation/nirvana undergo a conversion/rebirth/reincarnation hear/answer a prayer commit/confess/forgive a sin do/perform penance
  3. 3[intransitive] (disapproving) to give someone advice on moral standards, behavior, etc., especially in a way that they find annoying or boring I'm sorry, I didn't mean to preach. preach at somebody You're preaching at me again!
  4. Idioms
    practice what you preach
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    to do the things yourself that you tell other people to do
    preach to the converted
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    to speak to people in support of views that they already hold
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: preach