Definition of preach in English:


Syllabification: preach
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.
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


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


preach to the choir (or the converted)

Advocate something to people who already share one’s convictions about its merits or importance.
More 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.



More 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.

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