Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


verb, de·clare \di-ˈkler\

Simple Definition of declare

  • : to say or state (something) in an official or public way

  • : to say (something) in a strong and confident way

  • : to tell the government about (money you have earned or received) in order to pay taxes

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of declare


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to make known formally, officially, or explicitly

  3. 2 obsolete :  to make clear

  4. 3 :  to make evident :  show

  5. 4 :  to state emphatically :  affirm <declares his innocence>

  6. 5 :  to make a full statement of (one's taxable or dutiable property)

  7. 6 a :  to announce (as a trump suit) in a card game b :  meld

  8. 7 :  to make payable <declare a dividend>

  9. intransitive verb
  10. 1 :  to make a declaration

  11. 2 :  to avow one's opinion or support

  12. 3 :  to announce one's intentions (as to run for political office) <declared for mayor>

declarable play \-ˈkler-ə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of declare in a sentence

  1. The government has just declared a state of emergency.

  2. He openly declared his love for her.

  3. They failed to declare all of their earnings on their tax return.

  4. Large purchases must be declared at customs.

  5. Do you have anything to declare?

Origin of declare

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French declarer, from Latin declarare, from de- + clarare to make visible, from clarus clear — more at clear

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of declare

declare, announce, proclaim, promulgate mean to make known publicly. declare implies explicitness and usually formality in making known <the referee declared the contest a draw>. announce implies the declaration of something for the first time <announced their engagement at a party>. proclaim implies declaring clearly, forcefully, and authoritatively <the president proclaimed a national day of mourning>. promulgate implies the proclaiming of a dogma, doctrine, or law <promulgated an edict of religious toleration>.

synonyms see in addition assert

DECLARE Defined for Kids


verb de·clare \di-ˈkler\

Definition of declare for Students


  1. 1 :  to make known in a clear or formal way <The judges declared the race a tie.>

  2. 2 :  to state as if certain <“I look and smell,” Aunt Sponge declared, “as lovely as a rose!” — Roald Dahl, James and the Giant Peach>

Law Dictionary


transitive verb de·clare

Legal Definition of declare


  1. 1 :  to make known formally, officially, or explicitly <declaring who shall then act as President — U.S. Constitution amend. XX>

  2. 2a :  to make a full statement of (one's taxable property) <didn't declare some of his income> b :  to state the value of (one's taxable or dutiable property) <declared the diamond earrings>

  3. 3 :  to make payable <declare dividends>

declarer noun

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up declare? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the range of perception or understanding

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

soothe reduce disapprove perplex
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.