preach Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. verb deliver a sermon
    • The minister is not preaching this Sunday
  2. verb speak, plead, or argue in favor of
    • The doctor advocated a smoking ban in the entire house


Preach intransitive verb
OE. prechen, OF. preechier, F. prêcher, fr. L. praedicare to cry in public, to proclaim; prae before + dicare to make known, dicere to say; or perhaps from (assumed) LL. praedictare. See Diction, and cf. Predicate, Predict.
imperfect & past participle Preached ; present participle & verbal noun Preaching
  1. To proclaim or publish tidings; specifically, to proclaim the gospel; to discourse publicly on a religious subject, or from a text of Scripture; to deliver a sermon.
    How shall they preach, except they be sent? Rom. x. 15.
    From that time Jesus began to preach. Matt. iv. 17.
  2. To give serious advice on morals or religion; to discourse in the manner of a preacher.
Preach transitive verb
  1. To proclaim by public discourse; to utter in a sermon or a formal religious harangue.
    That Cristes gospel truly wolde preche. Chaucer.
    The Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek. Isa. lxi. 1.
  2. To inculcate in public discourse; to urge with earnestness by public teaching. "I have preached righteousness in the great congregation." Ps. xl. 9.
  3. To deliver or pronounce; as, to preach a sermon.
  4. To teach or instruct by preaching; to inform by preaching. R. "As ye are preached." Southey.
  5. To advise or recommend earnestly.
    My master preaches patience to him. Shak.
Preach noun
Cf. F. prêche, fr. prêcher. See Preach, v.
  1. A religious discourse. Obs. Hooker.

Webster 1913