From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishpraypray1 /preɪ/ ●●○ S3 W3 verb [intransitive, transitive] 1 RRPRAYto speak to God in order to ask for help or give thanks → prayer They went to the mosque to pray.pray for Let us pray for peace.pray to Martha prayed to God for help.pray (that) He prayed that his sight might be restored.2 HOPEto wish or hope very strongly that something will happen or is truepray (that) Paul was praying that no one had noticed his absence. I hope and pray that this is a misunderstanding.pray for We’re praying for good weather tomorrow.→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpuspray• He got down on his knees and began to pray.• You don't have to go to church to pray.• They prayed for a child, a son, and were so happy when he was born.• I prayed for all the King's Kids in their work places.• They had just prayed for an hour in a small chapel.• As their crops wilted, the people prayed for rain.• We pray for the sick and for their families.• He prayed he was about to learn its meaning.• Catherine heard that Henry was praying in the royal chapel so ran screaming down the corridor.• I prayed silently for peace to those venerable remains.• We were praying that the interest would be sparked.• Carly's parents are praying that the operation will succeed.• In her time of distress she prayed to Allah to help her.pray (that)• She wanted to pray, but she was so exhausted, the words wouldn't come out right.• She closed her eyes and tried to pray for Maggie, but didn't know where to start.• Let us pray for the deceased members of our parish family.• Dear Jacqueline, pray much and often for the little Society and for the Sisters.• Opening the front door, he placed the message on the doorstep, praying that it would serve its purpose.• To work is to pray, the Calvinists used to argue.• Prince Casimir never wavered, praying to the Blessed Virgin Mary for hours on end.hope and pray• It's a great honour and I only hope and pray I won't let Monsieur down.• I do hope and pray that I will never have the need to use it.• One can only just go on hoping and praying that it is the best and not the worst that has happened.• The Tories, meanwhile, must hope and pray that Smith stays put.• I hoped and prayed that the lights would come on so I could fly down those steps.• If it does, I hope and pray that they will stop there and leave you alone, at least for the time being.• We were all hugging the ground just hoping and praying to stay alive.praypray2 adverb [sentence adverb] old-fashionedASK FOR something/ASK somebody TO DO something used when politely asking a question or telling someone to do something SYN please Pray be seated. And who, pray tell, is this?
Examples from the Corpuspray• Unbelievers both, Calm and complete, determinately fixed Today, tomorrow and for ever, pray?• What sort of man shall I have, pray?• Give us, pray, the benefit of your undivided attention.pray tell• And who, pray tell, is leading this blitz?• And what, pray tell, is that white, fuzzy ball streaking over our heads each night?Origin pray1 (1200-1300) Old French preier, from Latin precari, from prex “request, prayer”