• From Middle English preien, from Anglo-Norman preier, from Old French preier, proier, (French prier), from Late Latin *precō, from Latin precārī, present active infinitive of precor, from prex, precis, from Proto-Indo-European *preḱ- ("to ask, woo"). Cognate via Indo-European of Old English frignan, fricgan, German fragen, Dutch vragen. Confer deprecate, imprecate, precarious.
  • Ellipsis of I pray you, I pray thee, whence also prithee.

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