- Pray is defined as to ask for something or to offer thanks or praise to a god, goddess or other deity.
An example of to pray is asking God to bless a meal you're about to eat.
- to implore or beseech: now seldom used except as the elliptical form of “I pray you”: pray tell me
- to ask for by prayer or supplication; beg for imploringly
- to recite (a prayer)
- to bring about, get, etc. by praying
Origin of prayMiddle English preien ; from Old French preier ; from Late Latin precare, for Classical Latin precari ; from prex (gen. precis), prayer ; from Indo-European an unverified form pre-, variant, variety of base an unverified form per-, question from source German frage, question
- to ask very earnestly; make supplication, as to a deity
- to worship God, a god, etc., as by reciting certain set formulas
verbprayed, pray·ing, prays
- To use prayer to request (that something may happen): The congregation prayed that the drought would end soon. The child prayed to be more considerate of others.
- To say (a prayer or group of prayers): pray the rosary.
- To make a devout or earnest request for: I pray your forgiveness.
- To utter or say a prayer or prayers to; address by prayer: “I pray Heaven that I never may forget the dear girl” (Charles Dickens).
- Archaic To ask (someone) imploringly for something; beseech. Used chiefly in the phrase I pray you to introduce a polite or urgent request or question: I pray you be careful.
Origin of prayMiddle English preien, from Old French preier, from Latin precārī, from precēs, pl. of *prex, prayer; see prek- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present prays, present participle praying, simple past and past participle prayed)
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.