A father and daughter giving thanks before eating their meal.
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) silently or aloud
- Archaic 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 silently or aloud
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 precÄre, from Latin precÄrÄ«, 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.