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verb pro·claim \prō-ˈklām, prə-\

Simple Definition of proclaim

  • : to say or state (something) in a public, official, or definite way : to declare or announce (something)

  • : to show (something) clearly

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of proclaim

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to declare publicly, typically insistently, proudly, or defiantly and in either speech or writing :  announce b :  to give outward indication of :  show <his manner proclaimed his genteel upbringing>

  3. 2 :  to declare or declare to be solemnly, officially, or formally <proclaim an amnesty> <proclaim the country a republic>

  4. 3 :  to praise or glorify openly or publicly :  extol <proclaimed the rescue workers' efforts>



Examples of proclaim in a sentence

  1. She proclaimed that she will run for governor.

  2. The President proclaimed a national day of mourning.

  3. He took command of the government and proclaimed himself emperor.

  4. The magazine proclaimed him to be the best player in baseball.

  5. He proclaimed his love for her in a poem.

  6. His behavior proclaimed his good upbringing.

Did You Know?

The pro- in proclaim means "forward, out", so a proclamation is an "outward" statement intended for the public. We often think of proclamations as something issued by monarchs or dictators, but Lincoln was able to issue his Emancipation Proclamation because as president he had the power to free the slaves in certain areas. At a slightly lower level, a governor may proclaim a day in honor of the state's firemen, a movie critic may proclaim a director to be the best of all, or you may proclaim your New Year's resolutions to a crowd of friends.

Origin and Etymology of proclaim

Middle English proclamen, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French proclamer, from Latin proclamare, from pro- before + clamare to cry out — more at pro-, claim

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of proclaim

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>.

PROCLAIM Defined for Kids


verb pro·claim \prō-ˈklām\

Definition of proclaim for Students



  1. :  to announce publicly :  declare <The president proclaimed a holiday.>

Word Root of proclaim

The Latin word clamāre, meaning “to shout” or “to cry out,” gives us the root clam and its form claim. Words from the Latin clamāre have something to do with shouting. To exclaim is to cry out in a sudden or emotional way. To proclaim is to announce or shout something publicly. Clamor is noisy shouting.

Law Dictionary


transitive verb pro·claim \prō-ˈklām\

Legal Definition of proclaim

  1. :  to declare or declare to be solemnly, officially, or formally <proclaim an amnesty>

Seen and Heard

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a sculptured or ornamented band

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