of·​fi·​ci·​ate | \ ə-ˈfi-shē-ˌāt How to pronounce officiate (audio) \
officiated; officiating

Definition of officiate

intransitive verb

1 : to perform a ceremony, function, or duty officiate at a wedding
2 : to act in an official capacity : act as an official (as at a sports contest)

transitive verb

1 : to carry out (an official duty or function)
2 : to serve as a leader or celebrant of (a ceremony)
3 : to administer the rules of (a game or sport) especially as a referee or umpire

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Other Words from officiate

officiation \ ə-​ˌfi-​shē-​ˈā-​shən How to pronounce officiation (audio) \ noun

Examples of officiate in a Sentence

The bishop officiated the memorial Mass. Two referees officiated the hockey game.
Recent Examples on the Web Such events are often held in the name of community leaders, police chiefs and other officials — even Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, who officiates at the annual President’s Cup. Richard C. Paddock, New York Times, "Bought for a Song: An Indonesian Craze Puts Wild Birds at Risk," 18 Apr. 2020 Download the NBC News app for full coverage and alerts about the coronavirus outbreak In Chicago, priests officiating at Catholic funerals have been told to limit the number of mourners to 10. NBC News, "Funeral workers provide critical service but are at high risk of exposure to the coronavirus," 25 Mar. 2020 Miller wrote that priests could officiate at graveside services, while being aware of the number of attendees. John Steppe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The way we grieve by holding funerals is changing during the coronavius outbreak," 20 Mar. 2020 Clerk Recorder Erika Patronas officiates Natasha and Michael Davis' wedding ceremony at the Honda Center parking lot on April 21, 2020 in Anaheim, California. NBC News, "Trump at briefing says CDC director was 'misquoted.' CDC director at same briefing says quote was accurate.," 24 Apr. 2020 Jovon Jamie Hannah Fishkin and Seth Eric Faber were married April 4 at the house of the groom’s parents in Great Neck, N.Y. Rabbi Lisa Rubin officiated. New York Times, "Jamie Fishkin, Seth Faber," 5 Apr. 2020 For the first March in his 17 years of officiating NCAA tournaments, there will be no whistle. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "Veteran referees like Gerry Pollard miss the NCAA tournament too — for more than one reason," 21 Mar. 2020 There Douglass married his fiancé, Anna Murray, in a ceremony at Ruggles’ house officiated by the Rev. James W.C. Pennington, who escaped from slavery himself in 1828 and was now pastor of the First Congregational Church of Hartford. Graham Hodges, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "David Ruggles was a friend to Frederick Douglass, the first full-time black activist and a lead conductor on the Underground Railroad," 14 Feb. 2020 Mobile’s Bill Hill was scheduled to officiate 10 baseball games in one week in mid-March. Ben Thomas |, al, "Spring sports officials missing camaraderie, love of game in pandemic shutdown," 14 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'officiate.' 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 officiate

1623, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for officiate

borrowed from Medieval Latin officiātus, past participle of officiāre "to perform a function, perform priestly duties," going back to Late Latin officiārī "to perform a function," derivative of Latin officium "duty, office"

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Time Traveler for officiate

Time Traveler

The first known use of officiate was in 1623

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Statistics for officiate

Last Updated

2 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Officiate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for officiate


How to pronounce officiate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of officiate

formal : to perform the official duties of a ceremony
sports : to be a referee, umpire, or judge at a game, tournament, etc.


of·​fi·​ci·​ate | \ ə-ˈfi-shē-ˌāt How to pronounce officiate (audio) \
officiated; officiating

Kids Definition of officiate

1 : to perform a ceremony or duty A bishop officiated at the wedding.
2 : to act as an officer : preside She officiated at the annual meeting.

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More from Merriam-Webster on officiate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with officiate

Spanish Central: Translation of officiate

Nglish: Translation of officiate for Spanish Speakers

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