prayer

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English[edit]

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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English preiere, from Anglo-Norman preiere, from Old French priere, proiere, from Medieval Latin or Late Latin precāria, feminine of Latin precārius (obtained by entreaty), from precor (beg, entreat).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /pɹɛə(ɹ)/
  • (US) enPR: prâr, prāʹər, IPA(key): /pɹɛɚ/, /ˈpɹeɪəɹ/, /ˈpɹɛɹ/
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

prayer (countable and uncountable, plural prayers)

  1. (uncountable) A practice of communicating with one's God.
    Through prayer I ask for God's guidance.
    In many cultures, prayer involves singing.
  2. (countable) An act of praying.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 5, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      Then everybody once more knelt, and soon the blessing was pronounced. The choir and the clergy trooped out slowly, […], down the nave to the western door. […] At a seemingly immense distance the surpliced group stopped to say the last prayer.
    • 2020 December, Dave Barry, "Year in review":
      In that spirit, we’ll close with the wish we always offer at the end of our annual review, although this time it’s more of a prayer: Happy new year.
  3. The specific words or methods used for praying.
    Christians recite the Lord's Prayer.
    For Baha'is there's a difference between obligatory and devotional prayer.
  4. A meeting held for the express purpose of praying.
    Grandpa never misses a chance to go to prayer.
  5. (countable) A request; a petition.
    This, your honor, is my prayer; that all here be set free.
  6. (in the singular, mostly in negative constructions) The remotest hope or chance.
    That team doesn't have a prayer of winning the championship.
Synonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

pray +‎ -er.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

prayer (plural prayers)

  1. One who prays.
    • 1974, Shel Silverstein, “Invitation”, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Harper Collins Publishers:
      If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar / A hope-er[sic], a pray-er[sic], a magic bean buyer…
    • 2012, Paul O'Connor, Islam in Hong Kong: Muslims and Everyday Life in China's World City
      Out of the 37 respondents, seven are infrequent prayers who prefer to leave the precise details of their prayer life ambiguous.
Translations[edit]