Etymology
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meeting (n.)

"an action of coming together," Old English meting "assembly," verbal noun from meet (v.). Specific meaning "gathering of people for discussion, etc." is from 1510s. In 17c., in England and Ireland it was applied generally to worship assemblies of nonconformists, but this now is retained mostly by Quakers. In the early U.S., especially in rural districts, it was applied to any assemblage for religious worship.

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prayer (n.1)

c. 1300, preiere, "earnest request, entreaty, petition," also "the practice of praying or of communing with God," from Old French prier "prayer, petition, request" (12c., Modern French prière), from Medieval Latin precaria "petition, prayer," noun use of Latin adjective precaria, fem. of precarius "obtained by prayer, given as a favor," from precari "to ask, beg, pray" (from PIE root *prek- "to ask, entreat").

From mid-14c. as "devout petition to God or a god or other object of worship;" also "the Lord's Prayer;" also "action or practice of praying." Related: Prayers. Prayer-book "book of forms for public or private devotions" is attested from 1590s; prayer-meeting "service devoted to prayer, sacred song, and other religious exercises" is from 1780. Prayer-rug "small carpet spread and used by a Muslim when engaged in devotions" is by 1898 (prayer-carpet is by 1861). To not have a prayer "have no chance" is from 1941.

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prayer (n.2)

"one who offers prayers," late 14c., agent noun from pray (v.).

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meeting-house (n.)

"house of worship," also meetinghouse, 1630s, from meeting (n.) + house (n.).

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go-to-meeting (adj.)

"suitable for use in a church or on Sundays," 1790, especially of clothes but the earliest recorded reference is to music.

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salat (n.)

Islamic ritual prayer, from Arabic salah "prayer."

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litany (n.)

c. 1200, "solemn prayer of supplication," from Old French letanie (13c., Modern French litanie) and directly from Medieval Latin letania, Late Latin litania (source also of Spanish letania, Italian litania), from Greek litaneia "prayer, an entreating," from lite "prayer, supplication, entreaty," a word of unknown origin. From the notion of monotonous enumeration of petitions in Christian prayer services came the generalized sense of "repeated series" (early 19c.), which originated in French.

For those who know the Greek words, a litany is a series of prayers, a liturgy is a canon of public service; the latter in practice includes prayer, but does not say so. [Fowler]

Related: Litaneutical.

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boon (n.)

late 12c., bone "a petition, a prayer," from Old Norse bon "a petition, prayer," from Proto-Germanic *boniz (source also of Old English ben "prayer, petition," bannan "to summon;" see ban (v.)). The sense gradually passed from "favor asked" to "thing asked for," to "a good thing received, a benefit enjoyed" (1767).

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tefillin (n.)

1610s, from Rabbinical Hebrew t'phillim, plural of t'phillah "prayer."

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precatory (adj.)

"relating to or expressing prayer, being in the form of a prayer or supplication," 1630s, from Late Latin precatorius "pertaining to petitioning," from precatorem "one who prays," agent noun from precari "to pray" (from PIE root *prek- "to ask, entreat").

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