\ ˈsēd How to pronounce cede (audio) \
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

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.

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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 Even when Orlando City doesn’t cede a goal, these slow starts are holding the team back from finishing games decisively. Julia Poe, orlandosentinel.com, 21 Oct. 2021 Jayapal insists that her progressive colleagues not cede any more ground on the reconciliation bill to moderates looking to shrink it. Daniel Strauss, The New Republic, 29 Sep. 2021 Shortly a lack of options and resources forced them to cede control of the business to a publishing company that did not share their commitment to the vision. Keyaira Boone, Essence, 9 Oct. 2021 That was part of a government strategy, urged by the United States military, to cede rural areas and focus on protecting urban centers and major provinces. New York Times, 18 Aug. 2021 Chinese president Xi Jinping is not content to cede the spoils of the country’s tech giants to shareholders. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 9 July 2021 Tax lawyers and accountants have argued that a 15% minimum tax on financial-statement income could be difficult to administer and implement and would cede some U.S. tax rules to accounting regulators. Richard Rubin, WSJ, 3 June 2021 The company also announced Roberts and Kravis would cede their voting control of the firm by the end of 2026. Jonathan Ponciano, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2021 Trump and Biden supporters came face to face at an intersection near the Capitol with neither side willing to cede ground or the election. Matthew Ormseth, Los Angeles Times, 7 Nov. 2020

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

1743, 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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Last Updated

19 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cede.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cede. Accessed 30 Nov. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce cede (audio) \
ceded; ceding

Kids Definition of cede

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


transitive verb
\ ˈsēd How to pronounce cede (audio) \
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

More from Merriam-Webster on cede

Nglish: Translation of cede for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cede for Arabic Speakers


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