entreaty vs prayer what difference

what is difference between entreaty and prayer


Alternative forms

  • intreaty (obsolete)


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ɪnˈtɹiːti/, /ənˈtɹiːti/, /ɛnˈtɹiːti/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ɛnˈtɹiːti/, /ɪnˈtɹiːti/, /ənˈtɹiːti/
  • Rhymes: -iːti


entreaty (countable and uncountable, plural entreaties)

  1. The act of entreating or beseeching; a strong petition; pressing solicitation; begging.
    • 1779, William Ward, An Essay on Grammar as it may be applied to the English Language, New Edition, page 202,
      In all commands or entreaties, the ſtate commanded, or entreated, muſt be contingent; i. e. capable of being, or not being, as the command or entreaty expreſſes it.
    • 1964 October, P. F. Strawson, Intention and Convention in Speech Acts, The Philosophical Review, Volume 73, Number 4, page 444,
      We can readily imagine circumstances in which an utterance of the words “Don’t go” would be correctly described not as a request or an order, but as an entreaty.
    • 2002, N. P. Unni, Makers of Indian Literature: Amaruka, Sahitya Akademi, page 32,
      The entreaties of a lover and the rejection of the heroine lend charm to the stanza.
  2. (archaic) A treatment; reception; entertainment.

Related terms

  • entreat



Etymology 1

From Middle English preiere, from Anglo-Norman preiere, from Old French priere, proiere, from Medieval Latin or Late Latin precāria, feminine of Latin precārius (obtained by entreaty), from precor (beg, entreat).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /pɹɛə(ɹ)/
  • (US) enPR: prâr, prāʹər, IPA(key): /pɹɛɚ/, /ˈpɹeɪəɹ/, /ˈpɹɛɹ/


prayer (countable and uncountable, plural prayers)

  1. (uncountable) A practice of communicating with one’s God.
  2. (countable) An act of praying.
    • 2020 December, Dave Barry, “Year in review”:
  3. The specific words or methods used for praying.
  4. A meeting held for the express purpose of praying.
  5. (countable) A request; a petition.
  6. (in the singular, mostly in negative constructions) The remotest hope or chance.
    That team doesn’t have a prayer of winning the championship.
  • orison, precation
  • bead (archaic)
Derived terms

Etymology 2

pray +‎ -er.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈpɹeɪə(ɹ)/
  • (US) enPR: prāʹər, IPA(key): /ˈpɹeɪəɹ/


prayer (plural prayers)

  1. One who prays.
    • 1974, Shel Silverstein, “Invitation”, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Harper Collins Publishers:
      If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar / A hope-er[sic], a pray-er[sic], a magic bean buyer…
    • 2012, Paul O’Connor, Islam in Hong Kong: Muslims and Everyday Life in China’s World City
      Out of the 37 respondents, seven are infrequent prayers who prefer to leave the precise details of their prayer life ambiguous.

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