preach


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

be preaching to the converted

To be trying to convince someone about something that they already support or understand. You're preaching to the converted here—we all have kids and understand how busy life with kids is.
See also: convert, preach

practice what (one) preaches

To do the things or behave the way that one advises, dictates, or espouses. My parents always told us to respect each other and not to bicker, and they really did practice what they preached. If you're going to tell your employees not to incur excessive, unnecessary costs, then you had better practice what you preach.
See also: practice, preach, what

preach about (something)

1. To proclaim or lecture about something in a sermon. The priest preached about the sin of coveting other people's possessions. He was preaching about God's message of love and peace.
2. To offer a stern, moralistic, typically condescending lecture about something. I wish you would stop preaching about being fiscally responsible, Dad. I get it. My mother always preaches about the dangers of drugs and drinking, so I've never wanted to try them.
See also: preach

preach against (something)

To give a stern, forceful warning against something. The priest preached against coveting other people's possessions. My mother always preaches against drugs and drinking, so I've never wanted to try them.
See also: preach

preach at (one)

To deliver a stern, moralistic lecture to one (about something). I wish you would stop preaching at me about my spending habits, Dad. The priest spends every Sunday preaching at us about the same old sins and vices.
See also: preach

preach to (one)

1. To deliver a sermon to one. The priest loved preaching to his congregation and sharing the word of God with them.
2. To deliver a firm moralistic lecture or discourse to one (about something). I wish you would stop preaching to me about my spending habits, Dad. The politician preached to his supporters of the need for new healthcare legislation.
See also: preach

preach to deaf ears

To present arguments to or attempt to persuade or advise those who have no inclination to change their opinion or belief. You're preaching to deaf ears if you think you can convince these kids to stay away from alcohol before they turn 21. Even though they know they're preaching to deaf ears, the hate group makes a point of holding protests outside churches and the funerals of slain soldiers.
See also: deaf, ear, preach

preach to the choir

To try to convince someone about something that they already support; to state one's opinion to those who are already most receptive to it. You're preaching to the choir here—we all have kids and understand how busy life can get. Honestly, you're preaching to the choir, but I just don't have any money to donate.
See also: choir, preach

preach to the converted

To try to convince someone about something that they already support; to state one's opinion to those who are already most receptive to it. You're preaching to the converted here—we all have kids and understand how busy life can get. Honestly, you're preaching to the converted, but I just don't have any money to donate.
See also: convert, preach

Practice what you preach.

Prov. Cliché You yourself should do the things you advise other people to do. Dad always told us we should only watch an hour of television every day, but we all knew he didn't practice what he preached.
See also: practice, preach, what

preach about something

to give a moral or stern discourse on something. Please don't preach about the evils of fried food. I like the stuff, and people eat it all the time and don't die! She was preaching about the value of a fat-free diet.
See also: preach

preach against someone or something

to exhort against someone or something. The evangelist preached against the operator of the town's only saloon. The principal kept preaching against drinking and drugs.
See also: preach

preach at someone

to lecture or moralize at someone. Don't preach at me! I don't need any of your moralizing. I really don't wish to be preached at.
See also: preach

preach to someone

to give a moral discourse to someone. Please don't preach to me. I know that I did wrong. When you preach to us like that, we don't pay any attention to you.
See also: preach

preach to the choir

 and preach to the converted
Fig. to make one's case primarily to one's supporters; to make one's case only to those people who are present or who are already friendly to the issues. There is no need to convince us of the value of hard work. We already know that. You are just preaching to the choir. Don't waste your time telling us about the problem. That's preaching to the choir. Bob found himself preaching to the converted when he was telling Jane the advantages of living in the suburbs. She already hates city life.
See also: choir, preach

practice what you preach

Behave as you would have others behave, as in You keep telling us to clean up, but I wish you'd practice what you preach. This idiom expresses an ancient idea but appeared in this precise form only in 1678. Also see do as I say.
See also: practice, preach, what

preach to the converted

Try to convince someone who is already convinced, as in Why tell me smoking is bad when I gave it up years ago? You're preaching to the converted. [Mid-1800s]
See also: convert, preach

be preaching to the converted

If someone is preaching to the converted, they are presenting an opinion or argument to people who already agree with them. You're wasting your time preaching to the converted. In any case the film was, by and large, preaching to the converted. Note: The converted are people who have converted, or changed their religious beliefs. Preaching is the activity of telling people about a religion.
See also: convert, preach

practise what you preach

COMMON If you practise what you preach, you behave in the way that you encourage other people to behave. Note: The verb `practise' is spelled `practice' in American English. He practised what he preached, being more interested in moral values than money. I ought to be showing leadership and practise what I am preaching. Note: People sometimes vary this expression. The Bishop said the government had let the people down badly: it had preached love but practised hate.
See also: practise, preach, what

practise what you preach

do what you advise others to do.
See also: practise, preach, what

preach to the converted

advocate something to people who already share your convictions about its merits or importance.
See also: convert, preach

ˌpractise what you ˈpreach

(saying) live or act the way you advise others to live or act: He’s always telling me to go on a diet, but he doesn’t practise what he preaches. He needs to lose weight too!
See also: practise, preach, what

preach to the conˈverted

(American English also preach to the ˈchoir) tell people to support a view or an idea when they already support it: Why do they keep telling us about the importance of women in industry? They’re preaching to the converted here.
See also: convert, preach

preach to the

choir/converted
To argue in favor of a viewpoint already held by one's audience.
See also: preach

practice what you preach

Do as you would have others do. The idea is an ancient one, expressed in somewhat different form in the Bible (Matthew 23:3): “They say and do not” (King James Version; the Revised Standard version changed it to “they preach but do not practice”). Repeated often over the centuries, it appears in Dickens’s Old Curiosity Shop (1840): “Divines do not always practice what they preach.” See also do as i say.
See also: practice, preach, what
References in periodicals archive ?
When you look at the history of countries all over the world and when you look at history of men all over the world, you will find that those who prevail you can regard as true leaders, persons that we must follow, are those men and women who preach peace amongst all men.
Rose-Milavec said FutureChurch launched Catholic Women Preach to give women a bigger voice within their current roles in the church because they are often times "misrepresented" and "left out." She also said the technological resources that Catholic Women Preach uses may also help people worldwide who are homebound in regions of world with no access to Mass or the Eucharist.
Long will also preach from the pulpit on Sunday, May 29 at 10:30 a.m.
Christians all have the obligation to preach Christ with our lives but also with the word.: to love God above all things and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Anderson had first become controversial with his "God Hates Divorce" preach in February.
Television Producer Steven Jennings, coordinated the written agreement between Preach The Word Worldwide Network, their flagship TV show entitled “America's Got Anointing,” and Motown Gospel executives.
Let's hope Lewis Hamilton, with millions of youngsters ready to follow him, has the vision to preach more restraint and responsible behaviour on our roads.
I look out before I preach at all those hungry people and I can almost see it in their faces: "Don't let us down again.
Is it not time to preach loudly and clearly, in every parish, the charter of life and love called "Humanae Vitae"?
Morgan, an evangelical African American from Alabama who believed herself to have been called by God to preach the Gospel through a range of expressive practices, is the kind of artist often misrepresented by the discourse of outsider art that is the legacy of Jean Dubuffet's category art brut, a bundle of primitivist cliches that continues to celebrate social isolation and madness as markers of an ideal pole of unblemished artistic expression.
He quickly learned that Hill is a Southern Baptist evangelist who unabashedly talks about the need to preach to public school students.
When asked when he first heard the call to preach, Shanks said, "It happened the first time when I was about 5 years old.
I felt certain--there among the twisted branches of that toppled-down hack- berry and between those two tiny holes in my tee shirt--that I had received a "call" to preach the Gospel.
Janie's grandmother recalls that "'Ah wanted to preach a great sermon about colored women sittin' on high, but they wasn't no pulpit for me"' (21).
CLAIMS that one's opponents are not practicing what they preach are widespread.