pre·​side | \ pri-ˈzīd How to pronounce preside (audio) \
presided; presiding

Definition of preside

intransitive verb

1 : to exercise guidance, direction, or control
2a : to occupy the place of authority : act as president, chairman, or moderator
b : to occupy a position similar to that of a president or chairman
3 : to occupy a position of featured instrumental performer usually used with at presided at the organ

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Other Words from preside

presider noun

Examples of preside in a Sentence

Court is now in session, Justice Raul Fernandez presiding.

Recent Examples on the Web

Many of the governors Cox cites are presiding over low unemployment rates, and joblessness has fallen in all their states but one since the governors assumed office. Joe Garofoli,, "John Cox, California governor candidate, says business background a big boost," 9 July 2018 Across from them, Diddy and girlfriend Cassie Ventura presided over a banquette alongside Mary J. Blige, his sons, and assorted others. Josh Duboff, Vanities, "Rihanna’s Met Ball After-Party Draws Emma Stone, the Hadids, and an Impromptu Jaden Smith Performance," 8 May 2018 Black women preside as mayors of Louisiana’s three largest cities: New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport. Andre Perry, The Root, "A Case for Educational Reparations for Formerly Incarcerated People," 6 Apr. 2018 Harris agreed and chose Democratic State Central Committee member Nathan Karnes to preside over the election for the chairman even though parliamentarian Leslie Mara said the bylaws allowed Harris to chair the meeting. Steven Goode, Courant Community, "Don Harris Re-elected To Democratic Town Committee Post," 30 Mar. 2018 She will be sentenced on May 24 by Summit County Common Pleas Judge Tammy O’Brien, who has been presiding over the case. Steve Helling,, "Ex-High School Teacher, 37, Had a Baby With Teenage Student Who Lived in Her House," 29 Mar. 2018 In an unprecedented move in a federal lawsuit, Alsup presided over a crash course in climate science with a single student: himself. Warren Cornwall, Science | AAAS, "In a San Francisco court room, climate science gets its day on the docket," 22 Mar. 2018 But in a mark of the vote's historic and legislative significance, the White House sent Vice President Joe Biden to preside over the Senate for the roll call. Newsweek, "Amazing Photos of Bioluminescent Phytoplankton," 14 Mar. 2018 At casino night, Veronica presides over a packed house and Reggie (wearing cool plaid pants) tells her that Elio is cleaning up — soon to be cleaning them out. Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, ""Riverdale" Recap Season 3 Episode 7: Why Has No One Noticed Betty Is Missing?," 6 Dec. 2018

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

1608, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for preside

Latin praesidēre to guard, preside over, from prae- + sedēre to sit — more at sit

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Statistics for preside

Last Updated

12 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for preside

The first known use of preside was in 1608

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More Definitions for preside



English Language Learners Definition of preside

: to be in charge of something (such as a trial)


pre·​side | \ pri-ˈzīd How to pronounce preside (audio) \
presided; presiding

Kids Definition of preside

: to be in charge He presided over the meeting. She will preside over the company.
pre·​side | \ pri-ˈzīd How to pronounce preside (audio) \
presided; presiding

Legal Definition of preside

1 : to exercise guidance, direction, or control
2 : to occupy the place of authority : direct or regulate proceedings as chief officer

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More from Merriam-Webster on preside

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with preside

Spanish Central: Translation of preside

Nglish: Translation of preside for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of preside for Arabic Speakers

Comments on preside

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


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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