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preach / prēch/ • v. [intr.] deliver a sermon or religious address to an assembled group of people, typically in church: he preached to a large congregation | [tr.] our pastor will preach the sermon. ∎  [tr.] publicly proclaim or teach (a religious message or belief): a church that preaches the good news of Jesus. ∎  [tr.] earnestly advocate (a belief or course of action): my parents have always preached toleration and moderation. ∎  give moral advice to someone in an annoying or pompously self-righteous way: viewers want to be entertained, not preached at.PHRASES: preach to the choir (or the converted) advocate something to people who already share one's convictions about its merits or importance.ORIGIN: Middle English: from Old French prechier, from Latin praedicare ‘proclaim,’ in ecclesiastical Latin ‘preach,’ from prae ‘before’ + dicare ‘declare.’