\ ˈsēd \
ceded; ceding

Definition of cede 

transitive verb

1 : to yield or grant typically by treaty Russia ceded Alaska to the U.S. in 1867.

2 : assign, transfer ceded his stock holdings to his children

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Other words from cede

ceder noun

Do you cede or seed control?

Cede means "to yield or grant typically by treaty." Most of the verb senses of seed are concerned with planting seeds (either literal, as of plants, or figuratively, as of ideas). However, the word may also be used to mean "to schedule (tournament players or teams) so that superior ones will not meet in early rounds." If you relinquish or yield something you are ceding it, and if you are organizing the participants in a tournament you are seeding them.

Did You Know?

Cede is often a formal term used in discussing territory and rights, but is also used less formally. So, for example, Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the U.S. in 1898, following the Spanish-American War, and the U.S. ceded control of the Panama Canal to Panama in 1999. Critics warn that we are ceding leadership in alternative-energy technology to China. Citizens of one European country or another are always worrying that their own country is ceding too much power to the European Union. A tennis player doesn't have any choice when she cedes her no. 1 ranking to a rival.

Examples of cede in a Sentence

Russia ceded Alaska to the U.S. in 1867. she reluctantly ceded her position as leader

Recent Examples on the Web

Seemingly overnight, two months of often-unfathomable rainfall ceded to sunny, hot days and parched lawns. Angela Fritz, Washington Post, "Washington is in a ‘flash drought,’ with only fleeting chances of rain in the forecast," 12 July 2018 Still, Republicans aren’t ceding the Haitian-American community to the Democrats. Anthony Man, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Haitian-American voters could turn on Trump," 5 July 2018 The Canadians had long ceded the lobster to Maine fishermen, but that has changed as the lobster population has surged. David Abel, BostonGlobe.com, "Fish wars loom as climate change pushes lobster, cod, and other species north," 21 June 2018 Brooks ceded to Joker Phillips and the bottom dropped out. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "The 10 toughest places to win in college football's Power Five conferences," 21 June 2018 Following Monday’s Around the Horn, Reali’s ESPN colleague Israel Gutierrez ceded the final moments of the show to let the host open up about his loss. Rob Tornoe, Philly.com, "ESPN 'Around the Horn' host Tony Reali pleads for migrant children following his own heartbreaking loss," 19 June 2018 The Warhawks senior ceded to Derek Polczynski, the team’s closer, for the final two innings. Curt Hogg, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "WIAA state baseball: Timely hits, strong pitching lift Arrowhead over Burlington," 12 June 2018 With the signing of the Treaty of Paris, Spain cedes Puerto Rico and Guam to the United States. Cnn Library, CNN, "Puerto Rico Fast Facts," 31 May 2018 The group eventually ceded its Wednesday night residency to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, who made friends with Jon Favreau and fortuitously landed a spot in Swingers. Kenneth Partridge, Billboard, "In Defense of the Swing Revival: Why America Flipped for '40s Sounds in 1998," 29 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cede.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cede

1749, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cede

borrowed from French or Latin; French céder, borrowed from Latin cēdere "to go, move away, withdraw, yield," perhaps, if derived from an originally transitive meaning "drive away," akin to Sanskrit sedhati "(she/he) chases away," Avestan siiazdat "will chase away"

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Dictionary Entries near cede

cedar rust

cedar waxwing






Statistics for cede

Last Updated

22 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cede

The first known use of cede was in 1749

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More Definitions for cede



English Language Learners Definition of cede

: to give control of (something) to another person, group, government, etc.


\ ˈsēd \
ceded; ceding

Kids Definition of cede

: to give up especially by treaty The land was ceded to another country.

\ ˈsēd \
ceded; ceding

Legal Definition of cede 

1 : to yield or grant usually by treaty

3 : to transfer (all or part of one's liability as an insurer under an insurance policy) by reinsurance to another insurer

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More from Merriam-Webster on cede

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cede

Spanish Central: Translation of cede

Nglish: Translation of cede for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cede for Arabic Speakers

Comments on cede

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


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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