• WordNet 3.6
    • v pray call upon in supplication; entreat "I beg you to stop!"
    • v pray address a deity, a prophet, a saint or an object of worship; say a prayer "pray to the Lord"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Bushrod Prays for his Life 119 Bushrod Prays for his Life 119
A woman prays; ghostly figures stand in the background A woman prays; ghostly figures stand in the background
St. Louis prays in his bed, surrounded by clerics and attendants St. Louis prays in his bed, surrounded by clerics and attendants

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The male praying mantis cannot copulate while its head is attached to its body. The female initiates sex by ripping the males head off
    • Pray I beg; I request; I entreat you; -- used in asking a question, making a request, introducing a petition, etc.; as, Pray, allow me to go.
    • n. & v Pray See Pry.
    • Pray To address earnest request to; to supplicate; to entreat; to implore; to beseech. "And as this earl was preyed , so did he.""We pray you . . . by ye reconciled to God."
    • Pray To ask earnestly for; to seek to obtain by supplication; to entreat for. "I know not how to pray your patience."
    • Pray To effect or accomplish by praying; as, to pray a soul out of purgatory.
    • v. i Pray To make request with earnestness or zeal, as for something desired; to make entreaty or supplication; to offer prayer to a deity or divine being as a religious act; specifically, to address the Supreme Being with adoration, confession, supplication, and thanksgiving. "And to his goddess pitously he preyde .""When thou prayest , enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.""I pray , sir. why am I beaten?"
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Hummingbirds are the smallest birds so tiny that one of their enemies is an insect, the praying mantis.
    • pray To ask earnestly; beg; entreat; supplicate, as for a personal grace or favor.
    • pray In religious usage, to make devout petition to God, or (in some forms of religion) to any object of worship, as a saint or an angel; more generally, to enter into spiritual communion with God, usually through the medium of speech. See prayer.
    • pray I pray, usually, by ellipsis, pray, a common formula introducing a question, invitation, suggestion, or request. Compare prithee.
    • pray To ask earnestly; beg; entreat; supplicate; urge.
    • pray In religious usage, to address a desire or petition to (specifically to God) devoutly and with reverence.
    • pray To offer up, as a prayer; utter in devotion.
    • pray To make entreaty or petition for; crave; implore: as, the plaintiff prays judgment of the court.
    • pray To effect, move, or bring by prayer or entreaty: followed by an adverb or a preposition particularizing the meaning.
    • pray Synonyms To crave, implore, beseech, petition, importune. See prayer.
    • pray An obsolete spelling of prey.
    • pray A dialectal form of pry.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The praying mantis is the only insect that can turn its head.
    • v.i Pray prā to ask earnestly: to entreat: to speak and make known one's desires to God
    • v.t Pray to ask earnestly and reverently, as in worship: to supplicate: to get by praying:—pr.p. prāy′ing; pa.t. and pa.p. prāyed
    • adj Pray given to prayer
    • ***


  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “No man ever prayed heartily without learning something.”
  • Robert Bridges
    Robert Bridges
    “When Death to either shall come -- I pray it be first to me.”
  • Georges Bernanos
    “The wish to pray is a prayer in itself. God can ask no more than that of us.”
  • Phillips Brooks
    “Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks.”
  • Geoffrey Chaucer
    Geoffrey Chaucer
    “We know little of the things for which we pray.”
  • Robert D. Foster
    Robert D. Foster
    “Most men pray for power, the strength to do things. Few people pray for love, the quality to be someone.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. preien, OF. preier, F. prier, L. precari, fr. prex, precis, a prayer, a request; akin to Skr. prach, to ask, AS. frignan, frīnan, fricgan, G. fragen, Goth. fraíhnan,. Cf. Deprecate Imprecate Precarious


In literature:

Hang me if I know what he prays, or how!
"The Comedies of William Congreve Volume 1 [of 2]" by William Congreve
Have you prayed for them without ceasing?
"Broken Bread from an Evangelist's Wallet" by Thomas Champness
When the shield was painted, William prayed her to give him a horse, and she led him into the stable, and bade him choose one for himself.
"The Red Romance Book" by Various
Now, if there were any in the world to pray for the peace of a human soul, it was not the soul of Guayos that asked it.
"Myths & Legends of our New Possessions & Protectorate" by Charles M. Skinner
While he prayed, the damsels went on and soon reached the king's palace.
"Odysseus, the Hero of Ithaca" by Homer
We can only wait and pray God to send dear little Jimmy home in safety.
"A Confederate Girl's Diary" by Sarah Margan Dawson
Leading her out of the town, Cyriacus again prayed on Mount Calvary that God would send forth a token and reveal the secret.
"Hero-Myths & Legends of the British Race" by Maud Isabel Ebbutt
I shall pray that your heart shall be steadfast, pray for God's pardon for your evil life.
"A German Pompadour" by Marie Hay
And so pray God that you may be gray, and Forster bald, long before you are called upon to act as my executors.
"The Letters of Charles Dickens" by Charles Dickens
Yet we had prayed for her as few, perhaps, have prayed for any child.
"How I Know God Answers Prayer" by Rosalind Goforth

In poetry:

Give these, and then Thy will be done,
Thus, strengthened with all might,
We, through Thy Spirit and Thy Son,
Shall pray, and pray aright.
"Lord, Teach Us How to Pray Aright" by James Montgomery
You who are praying for the Christ's return
And for the coming of the Promised Day,
How is it in the four walls of your home
The while you pray?
"How Is It?" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
I pray'd fu' lood an' I pray'd fu' lang,
Till I faun that I was free;
But, alake! dear weans, the fricht last nicht
Has left queer thochts wi' me."
"Ledgie Cooper" by Alexander Anderson
Welcome with pray'r each rising sun,
And end each day, as 'twas begun,
With pray'r its gates, each ev'ning, bar,
Unbar them, ev'ry morn, with pray'r.
"Things, To Be Consider'd, And Made Use Of, When Night Comes" by Rees Prichard
O Aislinn, pray:
Pray that it will never come to that; the thought
Of the harsh word from him has come to me
Again and again, like some dark bird.
"The Miracle Of The Corn" by Padraic Colum
Ah, me! had the pure flakelets voices,
I know what their white lips would say;
And I know that the lights on her altar
Would pray with me if they could pray.
"The Immaculate Conception" by Abram Joseph Ryan

In news:

Is new play Toke the Eat, Pray, Love of weed.
In countries with Muslim majority the work/school schedules are adjusted and the work day is shortened to give time to people to go home, pray and also prepare for Iftar.
Chapter of CAIR asks for an investigation of pig legs thrown onto a driveway at a proposed mosque near Chino while people were praying.
"Everybody needs beauty places to play and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike," wrote Muir (c 1902).
It contained all the ruinous, mean-spirited, wrong-headed government overreach that every red-blooded journalist prays for.
Lots of cheers, dancing and singing, and a few people praying as well.
They prayed to always remember.
If singing is, as St Augustine proposed, like praying twice, then perhaps giving a present that also supports a worthy cause can be compared to a twofold gift.
Via Facebook/Pray for Katy Hayes.
All you can do is hope that at some point they can be forced down a different path and pray the results are different.
Can You Pray Away Being Gay.
Look back at highlights of Oprah's discussion with Pastor Joel Osteen about dreaming big and praying bold.
Oprah and Pastor Joel Osteen discuss how to dream big and pray bold.
I see men praying with their heads covered.
The new guide for praying the Liturgy of the Hours is now available on our resources page.

In science:

One way is simply to measure the layer compressional modulus Bpure (T ) of a pure (bulk, aerogel-free) sample of the same smectic liquid crystal material, and pray that this is not changed when the smectic is placed in aerogel.
Smectic Liquid Crystals in Random Environments
Let us all pray that human beings can learn to put such behavior behind them.
Classical Chaos and its Quantum Manifestations
It will lead to the deployment of unreliable and insecure systems that will be easy pray for the maliciously inclined.
Open source software and peer review