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

Anthony Obinna, a Catholic archbishop in the city of Owerri, first officiated a mixed wedding—between a diala man and an osu woman, without the consent of their parents—a decade ago, and has handled about eleven more in the years since. Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, The New Yorker, "The Descendants of Slaves in Nigeria Fight for Equality," 11 July 2019 Angels in America playwright Tony Kushner officiated their wedding in real life. Constance Grady, Vox, "An annotated guide to Taylor Swift’s star-studded “You Need to Calm Down” video," 17 June 2019 Robert Barnhart, a friend of the couple who became a Universal Life minister for the event, officiated. New York Times, "Two Rugby Teammates Mutually Awe-Struck," 15 June 2019 Former President Barack Obama also officiated a wedding earlier this year. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Michelle Obama Helped Officiate A Wedding in Chicago For A Vey Lucky Couple," 24 Sep. 2018 Welby also officiated Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding in May and baptized Meghan into the Church of England in March. Lyndsey Matthews, Good Housekeeping, "What Religion Is the Royal Family?," 6 July 2018 The comedian John Early officiated, and Jennifer Lawrence attended. Rebecca Farley,, "The Sorcery Of A Secret Celebrity Wedding In 2018," 29 June 2018 Seth John Dager and Eric Haines Ball were married June 22 at the North Branch Inn, a hotel in North Branch, N.Y. Ellen Bray, a friend of the couple who became a Universal Life minister for the event, officiated. New York Times, "Seth Dager, Eric Ball," 23 June 2019 Bob Weir — who officiated at Live Nation head Geoff Gordon’s wedding at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby in 2016 — and other Grateful Dead members are investors. Dan Deluca,, "The Met: Former North Broad opera house will open as new concert venue in December," 22 May 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

15 Jul 2019

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

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

Comments on officiate

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