preach

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Related to preached: preach to the converted

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 or understand. You're preaching to the choir here—we all have kids and understand how busy life with kids is.
See also: choir, preach

preach to the converted

To try 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, but they rarely practiced what they preached. If you're going to tell your employees not to incur excessive, unnecessary costs to the company, then you had better practice what you preach.
See also: practice, preach, what

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
References in classic literature ?
He said, "Considering who the disciples were, it would be absurd to conceive the doctrine of generosity, or giving alms, to have been preached to them.
There are preachers of death: and the earth is full of those to whom desistance from life must be preached.
Everywhere resoundeth the voices of those who preach death; and the earth is full of those to whom death hath to be preached.
Sir, you have set me about a work that has struck a dart though my very soul; I have been talking about God and religion to my wife, in order, as you directed me, to make a Christian of her, and she has preached such a sermon to me as I shall never forget while I live.
No, no, it is not your wife has preached to you; but when you were moving religious arguments to her, conscience has flung them back upon you.
She has preached a sermon, indeed, if she has wrought this upon you.
Accordingly I called her in, and placing myself as interpreter between my religious priest and the woman, I entreated him to begin with her; but sure such a sermon was never preached by a Popish priest in these latter ages of the world; and as I told him, I thought he had all the zeal, all the knowledge, all the sincerity of a Christian, without the error of a Roman Catholic; and that I took him to be such a clergyman as the Roman bishops were before the Church of Rome assumed spiritual sovereignty over the consciences of men.
I preached my first sermon on Palm Sunday, 40 years ago.
Sometimes an essay made me feel like I was taking homiletics 101, with lecture notes reformatted with the ending, "and, oh yeah, Taylor preached like this.
Frances Cabrini said laypeople have preached for some four decades with the "invitation, encouragement and support of pastors.
Although he looks at Billy Graham, Edwards is not entirely sure what to do with him except marvel at the fact that he preached to millions of people.
Jesus preached through metaphor, image, suggestion, inference.
Rather, they have always preached and have never ceased laying their claim to do so.
Opening a four-day religious crusade, famed evangelist Billy Graham preached a simple message about the sins of man and the love of God to a crowd of about 45,000 on Thursday night - the same type of sermon he's been preaching for more than a half-century to followers around the world.
Nonetheless, I think that Thayer's attempt in the concluding contribution to correlate how the sacrament of Penance was preached in the late Middle Ages with where the Reformation took hold and where it did not deserves special mention.