Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: preiere, from Latin precaria, from prex; PRAY1


prayer S3 W3
1 [countable]RR words that you say when praying to God or gods:
Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.
The children said their prayers and got into bed.
God has answered your prayer.
prayer for
a prayer for the dead
lord's prayer
2 [uncountable]RR when someone prays, or the regular habit of praying:
the power of prayer
in prayer
The congregation knelt in prayer.
3 [countable] a wish or hope that something will happen:
Her prayer was that she would pass her exams.


[plural] a regular religious meeting in a church, school etc, at which people pray together:
Prayers are at 8 o'clock.

not have a prayer (of doing something)

informal to have no chance of succeeding:
He tried hard, but he didn't have a prayer.
They don't have a prayer of winning.

an/the answer to somebody's prayers

informal something that someone wants or needs very much:
The job was an answer to my prayers.

➔ on a wing and a prayer

at wing1 (10)

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