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prayer 1

a. A reverent petition made to God, a god, or another object of worship.
b. The act of making a reverent petition to God, a god, or another object of worship: belief in the power of prayer.
2. An act of communion with God, a god, or another object of worship, such as in devotion, confession, praise, or thanksgiving: One evening a week, the family would join together in prayer.
3. A specially worded form used to address God, a god, or another object of worship.
4. prayers A religious observance in which praying predominates: morning prayers.
a. A fervent request: Her prayer for rain was granted at last.
b. The thing requested: His safe arrival was their only prayer.
6. The slightest chance or hope: In a storm the mountain climbers won't have a prayer.
7. Law
a. The request for relief by a party initiating a lawsuit, stated in the pleadings.
b. The portion of the pleadings that contains this request.

[Middle English preiere, from Old French, from Medieval Latin precāria, from feminine of Latin precārius, obtained by entreaty, from precārī, to entreat; see pray.]

pray·er 2

One who prays.


1. (Ecclesiastical Terms)
a. a personal communication or petition addressed to a deity, esp in the form of supplication, adoration, praise, contrition, or thanksgiving
b. any other form of spiritual communion with a deity
2. (Ecclesiastical Terms) a similar personal communication that does not involve adoration, addressed to beings venerated as being closely associated with a deity, such as angels or saints
3. (Ecclesiastical Terms) the practice of praying: prayer is our solution to human problems.
4. (Ecclesiastical Terms) (often plural) a form of devotion, either public or private, spent mainly or wholly praying: morning prayers.
5. (Ecclesiastical Terms) (capital when part of a recognized name) a form of words used in praying: the Lord's Prayer.
6. an object or benefit prayed for
7. an earnest request, petition, or entreaty
8. (Law) law a request contained in a petition to a court for the relief sought by the petitioner
9. slang a chance or hope: she doesn't have a prayer of getting married.
[C13 preiere, from Old French, from Medieval Latin precāria, from Latin precārius obtained by begging, from prex prayer]
ˈprayerless adj


(Ecclesiastical Terms) a person who prays



1. a devout petition to God or an object of worship.
2. a spiritual communion with God or an object of worship, as in supplication, thanksgiving, or adoration.
3. the act or practice of praying to God or an object of worship.
4. a formula or sequence of words used in praying: the Lord's Prayer.
5. prayers, a religious observance consisting mainly of prayer.
6. something prayed for.
7. a petition; entreaty.
8. a negligible hope or chance: We don't have a prayer of winning.
[1250–1300; Middle English preiere < Old French < Medieval Latin precāria, n. use of feminine of Latin precārius given as a favor =prec- (s. of prex) prayer + -ārius -ary; compare precarious]


(ˈpreɪ ər)

a person who prays.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.prayer - the act of communicating with a deity (especially as a petition or in adoration or contrition or thanksgiving)prayer - the act of communicating with a deity (especially as a petition or in adoration or contrition or thanksgiving); "the priest sank to his knees in prayer"
worship - the activity of worshipping
devotion - (usually plural) religious observance or prayers (usually spoken silently); "he returned to his devotions"
benediction, blessing - the act of praying for divine protection
2.prayer - reverent petition to a deity
prayer wheel - a cylinder with prayers written on it; each revolution counts as uttering the prayers; used especially by Buddhists in Tibet
asking, request - the verbal act of requesting
benediction, blessing - a ceremonial prayer invoking divine protection
collect - a short prayer generally preceding the lesson in the Church of Rome or the Church of England
commination - prayers proclaiming God's anger against sinners; read in the Church of England on Ash Wednesday
deprecation - a prayer to avert or remove some evil or disaster
thanksgiving, blessing, grace - a short prayer of thanks before a meal; "their youngest son said grace"
intercession - a prayer to God on behalf of another person
invocation, supplication - a prayer asking God's help as part of a religious service
requiescat - a prayer for the repose of the soul of a dead person
3.prayer - earnest or urgent requestprayer - earnest or urgent request; "an entreaty to stop the fighting"; "an appeal for help"; "an appeal to the public to keep calm"
asking, request - the verbal act of requesting
adjuration - a solemn and earnest appeal to someone to do something
demagoguery, demagogy - impassioned appeals to the prejudices and emotions of the populace
plea, supplication - a humble request for help from someone in authority
solicitation - an entreaty addressed to someone of superior status; "a solicitation to the king for relief"
suit - a petition or appeal made to a person of superior status or rank
courting, courtship, wooing, suit - a man's courting of a woman; seeking the affections of a woman (usually with the hope of marriage); "its was a brief and intense courtship"
4.prayer - a fixed text used in praying
religious text, religious writing, sacred text, sacred writing - writing that is venerated for the worship of a deity
Agnus Dei - a liturgical prayer beginning with these Latin words
Mass - a sequence of prayers constituting the Christian Eucharistic rite; "the priest said Mass"
Shema - a liturgical prayer (considered to be the essence of Jewish religion) that is recited at least twice daily by adult Jewish males to declare their faith; "as soon as Leonard learned to talk he was taught to recite the first words of the Shema, the creed of Judaism which originated on Sinai with Moses and is recited daily"
5.prayer - someone who prays to God
religious person - a person who manifests devotion to a deity
beadsman, bedesman - a person who is paid to pray for the soul of another


1. supplication, devotion, communion The night was spent in prayer and meditation.
2. orison, litany, invocation, intercession prayers of thanksgiving
3. plea, appeal, suit, request, petition, entreaty, supplication Say a quick prayer I don't get stopped for speeding.
"More things are wrought by prayer"
"Than this world dreams of" [Alfred, Lord Tennyson Morte d'Arthur]
"The wish for prayer is a prayer in itself" [Georges Bernanos Journal d'un cure de campagne]
"In prayer the lips ne'er act the winning part,"
"Without the sweet concurrence of the heart" [Robert Herrick The Heart]
"One single grateful thought raised to heaven is the most perfect prayer" [G.E. Lessing Minna von Barnhelm]

prayer 1

1. The act of praying:
2. A formula of words used in praying:
collect, litany, orison, rogation (often used in plural).
3. An earnest or urgent request:
4. Law. An application to a higher authority, as for sanction or a decision:

prayer 2

One who humbly entreats:
lời cầu nguyện


A. N
1. (Rel) → oración f, rezo m; (= entreaty) → oración f, plegaria f
a prayer for peaceuna oración por la paz
Lord, hear our prayerSeñor, escucha nuestras plegarias or súplicas
the Book of Common Prayerla liturgia de la Iglesia Anglicana
to be at one's prayersestar rezando
they offered (up) prayers of thanksofrecían rezos en acción de gracias
to say one's prayersorar, rezar
say a prayer for mereza por mí
he didn't have a prayerno tenía ni la menor posibilidad
2. (as service) → oficio m
morning/evening prayer(s)oficio m de maitines/vísperas
B. CPD prayer beads NPLrosario m
prayer book Ndevocionario m, misal m
prayer mat Nalfombra f de rezo
prayer meeting Nreunión f de oraciones


n (RELIGION)prière f
to say a prayer for sb → dire une prière pour qn
to say one's prayers → dire ses prières
he hasn't got a prayer → il n'a pas l'ombre d'une chance
to be the answer to sb's prayers (= just what is needed) → être la réponse aux prières de qn prayers
npl (= service) evening prayers → la prière du soir
to attend prayers → assister à la prière Friday prayers
modif [mat, beads] → de prièreprayer book nlivre m de prièresprayer meeting nréunion f de prière


nGebet nt; (= service, prayer meeting)Andacht f; to say one’s prayersbeten, seine Gebete verrichten (geh); to be at prayerbeim Gebet sein; he will lead our prayerser wird uns im Gebet führen; a prayer for peaceein Gebet für den Frieden; a life of prayerein Leben im Gebet; Evening PrayerAbendandacht f; we attended Morning Prayerwir besuchten die Morgenandacht; we have prayers every morningwir haben jeden Morgen eine Andacht; family prayersHausandacht f; the Book of Common Prayer das Gebetbuch der anglikanischen Kirche; my one prayer is that …ich bete nur, dass …


prayer beads
plGebetsperlen pl
prayer book
nGebetbuch nt
prayer mat
prayer meeting
nGebetsstunde f
prayer rug
prayer shawl
nGebetsmantel m
prayer wheel
nGebetsmühle f


[prɛəʳ] npreghiera
to say one's prayers → dire or recitare le preghiere


(prei) verb
1. to speak reverently to God or a god in order to express thanks, make a request etc. Let us pray; She prayed to God to help her.
2. to hope earnestly. Everybody is praying for rain.
ˈprayer noun
(an) act of praying. a book of prayer; The child said his prayers; My prayers have been answered (=I've got what I desired).

pray is a verb: to pray (not prey) for peace.


صَلاة motlitba bøn Gebet προσευχή oración rukous prière molitva preghiera 祈り 기도 gebed bønn modlitwa oração молитва bön ผู้สวดมนต์ dua lời cầu nguyện 祈祷


n oración f
References in classic literature ?
The clocks were striking midnight and the rooms were very still as a figure glided quietly from bed to bed, smoothing a coverlet here, settling a pillow there, and pausing to look long and tenderly at each unconscious face, to kiss each with lips that mutely blessed, and to pray the fervent prayers which only mothers utter.
I did not say my prayers that night: here, I felt, what would be would be.
Likely as not it was Sunday," she laughed; "and I was running away from prayers, from the Presbyterian service, read in a spirit of gloom by my father that chills me yet to think of.
Offer your prayers to Him who can give us wisdom to circumvent the cunning of the devils who fill these woods," calmly interrupted the scout, "but spare your offers of money, which neither you may live to realize, nor I to profit by.
Nothing, indeed, was absolutely plain to her, except that it was now early morning, and that, whatever might happen next, it was proper, first of all, to get up and say her prayers.
And the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale's best discerning friends, as we have intimated, very reasonably imagined that the hand of Providence had done all this for the purpose -- besought in so many public and domestic and secret prayers -- of restoring the young minister to health.
There had been, this evening, after the revelation left me, for an hour, so prostrate--there had been, for either of us, no attendance on any service but a little service of tears and vows, of prayers and promises, a climax to the series of mutual challenges and pledges that had straightway ensued on our retreating together to the schoolroom and shutting ourselves up there to have everything out.
As sinful men, it is a lesson to us all, because it is a story of the sin, hard-heartedness, suddenly awakened fears, the swift punishment, repentance, prayers, and finally the deliverance and joy of Jonah.
There --still high elevated above the rest of the company, to whom he vivaciously cries --he seems some Turkish Muezzin calling the good people to prayers from the top of a tower.
The month of May was an exceptionally cool one, and his secret prayers were granted; but early in June there came a record-breaking hot spell, and after that there were men wanted in the fertilizer mill.
would that they did not also bear along a more fearful freight,--the tears of the oppressed, the sighs of the helpless, the bitter prayers of poor, ignorant hearts to an unknown God--unknown, unseen and silent, but who will yet "come out of his place to save all the poor of the earth
I saw to what extent the people among whom I lived could be trusted as good neighbors and friends; that their friendship was for summer weather only; that they did not greatly propose to do right; that they were a distinct race from me by their prejudices and superstitions, as the Chinamen and Malays are that in their sacrifices to humanity they ran no risks, not even to their property; that after all they were not so noble but they treated the thief as he had treated them, and hoped, by a certain outward observance and a few prayers, and by walking in a particular straight through useless path from time to time, to save their souls.