Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “pray”

pray

verb uk   /preɪ/ us  
A2 [I or T] to speak to a god either privately or in a religious ceremony in order to express love, admiration, or thanks or in order to ask for something: She knelt and prayed silently. Let us pray for the victims of this terrible disaster. [+ that] We've been praying to God that your son will make a complete recovery.formal You must pray (= ask for) God's forgiveness for what you have done.Religious ceremonies and prayers B2 [I] to hope for something very much: We're praying for good weather for tomorrow's cricket match.Hoping and hopefulnessPotential

pray

adverb uk   /preɪ/ old use or formal us  
a forceful way of saying 'please': Pray tell your sister that I long to see her. And where have you been, pray tell?Polite expressions
(Definition of pray from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of pray?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “pray” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

scrumpy

an alcoholic drink made from apples

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More