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[pree-ching] /ˈpri tʃɪŋ/
the act or practice of a person who preaches.
the art of delivering sermons.
a sermon.
a public religious service with a sermon.
of, relating to, or resembling preaching:
a preaching tone of voice.
Origin of preaching
1225-75; Middle English preching (gerund); see preach, -ing1, -ing2
Related forms
preachingly, adverb
nonpreaching, adjective, noun
unpreaching, adjective


[preech] /pritʃ/
verb (used with object)
to proclaim or make known by sermon (the gospel, good tidings, etc.).
to deliver (a sermon).
to advocate or inculcate (religious or moral truth, right conduct, etc.) in speech or writing.
verb (used without object)
to deliver a sermon.
to give earnest advice, as on religious or moral subjects or the like.
to do this in an obtrusive or tedious way.
1175-1225; Middle English prechen < Old French pre(ë)chier < Late Latin praedicāre to preach (Latin: to assert publicly, proclaim). See predicate
Related forms
outpreach, verb (used with object)
unpreached, adjective
5. advocate, profess, pronounce, expound. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for preaching
  • For me it was preaching to the choir, but that is occasionally good for the soul.
  • But only the boldest of graduate students will defy outright an adviser who is preaching a more cautious approach.
  • Sometimes you need to be careful about preaching what you practice.
  • preaching to the choir is not a notably brave thing to do.
  • He was supposed to be teaching, not preaching, or talking about his personal feelings regarding his job.
  • As a dean, she gave hundreds of talks, preaching calm to anxious applicants.
  • On any day of the year, you'll hear me preaching about the benefits of slow travel and taking your time to really soak in a place.
  • It seems the only thing left of his preaching is the highlight reel.
  • But the priests are keen to point out that only they do the preaching.
  • preaching aside, his key point is sound: neither right nor left has any longer a plausible story to tell about the state.
British Dictionary definitions for preaching


to make known (religious truth) or give religious or moral instruction or exhortation in (sermons)
to advocate (a virtue, action, etc), esp in a moralizing way
Derived Forms
preachable, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French prechier, from Church Latin praedicāre, from Latin: to proclaim in public; see predicate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for preaching



at first in late Old English predician, a loan word from Church Latin; reborrowed 12c. as preachen, from Old French preechier "to preach, give a sermon" (11c., Modern French précher), from Late Latin praedicare "to proclaim publicly, announce" (in Medieval Latin "to preach"), from Latin prae "before" (see pre-) + dicare "to proclaim, to say" (see diction). Related: Preached; preaching. To preach to the converted is recorded from 1867 (form preach to the choir attested from 1979).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with preaching


In addition to the idiom beginning with preach also see: practice what you preach
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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