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See also: preaçh and préach



From Middle English prechen, from Old French prëechier, precchier (Modern French prêcher), from Latin praedicō. Doublet of predicate.

The Latin word is also the source of Old English predician (to preach), Saterland Frisian preetje (to preach), West Frisian preekje (to preach), Dutch preken (to preach), German Low German preken (to preach), German predigen (to preach), Danish prædike (to preach), Swedish predika (to preach), Icelandic prédika (to preach), Norwegian Nynorsk preika (to preach).


  • IPA(key): /pɹiːt͡ʃ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːtʃ


preach (third-person singular simple present preaches, present participle preaching, simple past and past participle preached or (nonstandard) praught)

  1. (intransitive) To give a sermon.
    A learned local Muslim used to preach in the small mosque every Friday.
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter V, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC, page 26:
      One saint’s day in mid-term a certain newly-appointed suffragan-bishop came to the school chapel, and there preached on “The Inner Life.”  He at once secured attention by his informal method, and when presently the coughing of Jarvis [] interrupted the sermon, he altogether captivated his audience with a remark about cough lozenges being cheap and easily procurable.
  2. (transitive) To proclaim by public discourse; to utter in a sermon or a formal religious harangue.
    • 1560, [William Whittingham et al., transl.], The Bible and Holy Scriptures Conteyned in the Olde and Newe Testament. [] (the Geneva Bible), Geneva: [] Rouland Hall, →OCLC, Isaiah LXI:1, folio 304, recto, column 1:
      The Spirit of the Lord God is vpon me, therefore hathe the Lord anointed me: he hathe ſent me to preache good tidings vnto the poore, []
  3. (transitive) To advise or recommend earnestly.
  4. (transitive) To teach or instruct by preaching; to inform by preaching.
  5. (intransitive) To give advice in an offensive or obtrusive manner.

Derived terms[edit]


  • Manx: preaçh


See also[edit]


preach (plural preaches)

  1. (obsolete) A religious discourse.



  1. (slang) Expressing strong agreement (as if encouraging somebody to continue speaking).
    Synonym: church
    - If you can't do the time, don't do the crime!
    - Preach!