Words related to pray


Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to ask, entreat." 

It forms all or part of: deprecate; deprecation; expostulate; imprecate; imprecation; postulate; pray; prayer; precarious; precatory; prithee.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit prasna-, Avestan frashna- "question;" Sanskrit prcchati, Avestan peresaiti "interrogates;" Latin precari "ask earnestly, beg, entreat;" Old Church Slavonic prositi, Lithuanian prašyti "to ask, beg;" Old High German frahen, German fragen, Old English fricgan "to ask" a question.  

mantis (n.)

1650s, "type of insect that holds its forelegs in a praying position" (especially the praying mantis, Mantis religiosa), Modern Latin, from Greek mantis, used of some sort of elongated insect with long forelimbs (Theocritus), literally "one who divines, a seer, prophet," from mainesthai "be inspired," related to menos "passion, spirit," from PIE *mnyo-, suffixed form of root *men- (1) "to think," with derivatives referring to qualities and states of mind or thought (compare mania and -mancy).

The insects, which live in temperate and tropical regions worldwide, are so called for its way of holding the enlarged forelimbs as if in prayer. The mantis shrimp (by 1853; earlier sea-mantis, 1690s) is so called for its resemblance to the insect.

ask (v.)

Old English ascian "ask, call for an answer; make a request," from earlier ahsian, from Proto-Germanic *aiskojanan (source also of Old Saxon escon, Old Frisian askia "request, demand, ask," Middle Dutch eiscen, Dutch eisen "to ask, demand," Old High German eiscon "to ask (a question)," German heischen "to ask, demand"), from PIE *ais- "to wish, desire" (source also of Sanskrit icchati "seeks, desires," Armenian aic "investigation," Old Church Slavonic iskati "to seek," Lithuanian ieškau, ieškoti "to seek").

Form in English influenced by a Scandinavian cognate (such as Danish æske; the Old English would have evolved by normal sound changes into ash, esh, which was a Midlands and southwestern England dialect form). Modern dialectal ax is as old as Old English acsian and was an accepted literary variant until c. 1600. Related: Asked; asking.

Old English also had fregnan/frignan which carried more directly the sense of "question, inquire," and is from PIE root *prek-, the common source of words for "ask" in most Indo-European languages (see pray). If you ask me "in my opinion" is attested from 1910.

prayer (n.2)

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


1570s, altered (weakened) from phrase (I) pray thee (14c.; see pray).