of·​fi·​ci·​ate | \ ə-ˈfi-shē-ˌāt \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from officiate

officiation \ ə-​ˌfi-​shē-​ˈā-​shən \ noun

Examples of officiate in a Sentence

The bishop officiated the memorial Mass. Two referees officiated the hockey game.

Recent Examples on the Web

The Dean of Windsor will officiate, and there will be performances by musicians from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrea Bocelli. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Everything You Need to Know About Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s Wedding," 8 Oct. 2018 Meanwhile, the Dean of Windsor, The Right Reverend David Conner, will officiate the couple's vows. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "New Details About Princess Eugenie's Royal Wedding Have Just Been Released," 6 Oct. 2018 The Dean of Windsor David Conner will officiate at the wedding, with the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, leading the prayers. Fox News, "Princess Eugenie's Windsor Castle wedding will differ from Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's," 15 Sep. 2018 One boy even dressed as the Archbishop of Canterbury, who will officiate Harry and Meghan’s wedding. Char Adams,, "Mini Meghan and Harry! British Elementary School Holds Adorable Wedding Parade Ahead of Ceremony," 16 May 2018 Watkins' uncle, former North Kansas City teacher Jack Sherbo, will officiate. Katy Bergen, kansascity, "They first locked eyes across a classroom. 33 years later, they're marrying at school | The Kansas City Star," 7 May 2018 To project total spending during the Final Four, Nivin even estimated the economic impact of the nine referees who will be officiating the tournament. Jasper Scherer, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio readies for packed Final Four schedule," 24 Mar. 2018 Dibble stepped down from his post to spend more time with his family, but will officiate a handful of volleyball matches this year and is still a teacher at Chelmsford High. Matt Case,, "For Chelmsford’s volleyball juggernaut, a new coach holds court," 23 Mar. 2018 Nick’s father Paul Kevin Jonas Sr., a former pastor, officiated the ceremony—and according to E! Tess Kornfeld, Glamour, "Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas Are Married," 1 Dec. 2018

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.

See More

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"

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about officiate

Statistics for officiate

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for officiate

The first known use of officiate was in 1623

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for officiate



English Language Learners Definition of officiate

: 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 \
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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on officiate

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


a person who helps groups work together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Liar, Liar Quiz

  • alt-5761dbe2ba986
  • Someone who pretends to be sick in order to avoid work is a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!