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

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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

Funeral services were officiated by Postell’s Mortuary (811 N. Powers Dr. Orlando, Fl 332818: 407-295-3857) at Found Church, 6250 Edgewater Dr. Suite 500, Orlando, FL 32809, on April 15, 2018. Orlando Sentinel,, "Deaths in Central Florida: 5/30," 30 May 2018 According to Reuters, the vows will be officiated by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby while David Conner, Dean of Windsor will lead the service. Katie Jones, Town & Country, "Here's What Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Wedding Might Be Like," 12 Feb. 2018 The couple also reunited with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who officiated their royal wedding on May 19. Erin Hill,, "Aunt Meghan's Big Debut! Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Step Out for Prince Louis' Christening," 9 July 2018 Lois Goodman was on her way to officiate a U.S. Open tennis match in New York in 2012 when police arrested her in front of TV cameras on suspicion of killing her husband. Fox News, "Jury rejects suit by tennis ump cleared in husband's death," 4 Apr. 2018 Leo’s sister, Colleen, officiated, and Chrissie and Leo exchanged their own vows while holding their son throughout the ceremony. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, "Chrissie Miller’s Wedding Dress Was Inspired by Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface," 11 May 2018 Hissam officiated basketball for 55 years and volleyball for 25 years. Joan Rusek,, "It is awards season in Chagrin Valley: Valley Views," 22 Mar. 2018 Higgins officiated Kentucky's Elite Eight loss to North Carolina in March. Fletcher Page, The Courier-Journal, "John Higgins' lawsuit against KSR officially moved to Kentucky court," 5 Feb. 2018 The ceremony was officiated by Justina Beagnyam, Bean's Cafe's client success manager, and concluded with the couple tying their wrists together with a bandana. Bob Hallinen, Anchorage Daily News, "Two hearts are bound together in Bean’s Cafe wedding," 12 July 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.

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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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Statistics for officiate

Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for officiate

The first known use of officiate was in 1623

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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.

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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 state of commotion or excitement

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