Definition of preach in English:

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Pronunciation: /prēCH/


[no object]
1Deliver a sermon or religious address to an assembled group of people, typically in church: he preached to a large congregation [with object]: our pastor will preach the sermon
More example sentences
  • He is said to have delivered 18,000 sermons, preaching 40-60 hours a week.
  • The newly re-born legend soon featured as the centrepiece of a series of patriotic sermons preached in parish churches across England.
  • But let's say that the book is a collection of sermons preached at that church.
give/deliver a sermon, sermonize, address, speak
religious teaching, message, sermons
informal Bible-thumping
1.1 [with object] Publicly proclaim or teach (a religious message or belief): a church that preaches the good news
More example sentences
  • Because of this ministry, ministers across the nation can preach the Christian message to a culture that has been taught that the Bible cannot be trusted.
  • Sikhism preaches a message of devotion and remembrance of God at all times, truthful living, equality of mankind, social justice and denounces superstitions and blind rituals.
  • So Peter was the first to preach a message unto Gentile believers.
proclaim, teach, spread, propagate, expound
1.2 [with object] Earnestly advocate (a belief or course of action): my parents have always preached toleration and moderation
More example sentences
  • We run a business, not a re-education camp, so we don't preach the co-operative gospel to people.
  • For as long as I've known you, you've always preached the virtue of consistency.
  • They also preach tolerance of others with different beliefs.
advocate, recommend, advise, urge, teach, counsel
1.3Give moral advice to someone in an annoying or pompously self-righteous way: viewers want to be entertained, not preached at
More example sentences
  • He viewed him then as ‘the stereotype of a head waiter’ who preached at them ‘like a division chaplain in the army’.
  • Many of the kids will eventually rebel against all the stuff preached at them, however.
  • I have never ever preached at them, but I have given them my opinion where they have asked for it.
moralize, sermonize, pontificate, lecture, harangue
informal preachify


preach to the choir (or the converted)

Advocate something to people who already share one’s convictions about its merits or importance.
Example sentences
  • I guess we're sort of preaching to the converted already.
  • Tell any mother who is either working or wants to get back into paid work after having a child that it is difficult finding affordable childcare, and you are already preaching to the converted.
  • Spoken word records covering social and political issues can be a bit of a dicey situation since they usually don't hold up past the first listen and they hardly sell because they're already preaching to the converted.



Pronunciation: /ˈprēCHiNG/
Example sentences
  • I know the church's preachings and I respect the church and I'm deeply religious but as John Kennedy said when he was president we have a separation of church and state here.
  • Those preachings are coming from outside the mosque.
  • They are quite prepared to ignore utterly any preachings of goodwill towards all or moral behaviour to ensure their institutional power.


Middle English: from Old French prechier, from Latin praedicare 'proclaim', in ecclesiastical Latin 'preach', from prae 'before' + dicare 'declare'.

Words that rhyme with preach

beach, beech, beseech, bleach, breach, breech, each, impeach, leach, leech, outreach, peach, pleach, reach, screech, speech, teach

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: preach

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