pre·​side | \pri-ˈzīd \
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

Veterans who have hosted more than once include Jimmy Kimmel, who presided over falling ratings the last two years but won praise for his deft handling of the job during culturally and politically tumultuous times. Ellen Gamerman, WSJ, "For the Oscars, It Is Back to the Drawing Board After Kevin Hart’s Departure as Host," 7 Dec. 2018 Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who presided over the case, came up after Denhollander, Munford, and Povilaitis left the stage. Glamour, "The Women Who Took Down Larry Nassar on Life After the Ruling," 11 Nov. 2018 Still, Pai, who has presided over an FCC that consistently pushes deregulatory measures, has also expressed skepticism over other tools meant to help consumers. Colin Lecher, The Verge, "Why robocalls have taken over your phone," 7 Nov. 2018 His replacement, Mahinda Rajapaksa, is a former president who presided over the end of Sri Lanka’s bloody 25-year civil war and is accused of serious human rights abuses during his strongman-style rule from 2005 to 2015. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Dueling prime ministers and assassination plots: an escalating crisis in Sri Lanka," 1 Nov. 2018 The judge overseeing the case is US District Court Judge William Alsup, who coincidentally presided over the high-profile trade secrets case earlier this year, Waymo v. Uber. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Feds: 4 ex-Genentech scientists stole from biotech giant to help startup," 30 Oct. 2018 Bradford, Washington and Lincoln all presided over dark, challenging times and, at the first sign of deliverance, sought to heal divisions, lift morale and build resolve by fostering a spirit of thankfulness. Sam Walker, WSJ, "The Plymouth Colony and the Business Case for Gratitude," 25 Nov. 2018 As CEO George Malkemus III presided over the festivities and greeted guests, including Andreja Pejic and Nina Agdal, others gazed upon the various glittering heels on the walls with admiration. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Magical Manolo! Celebrating 10 Years of the Shoe Designer’s Iconic Hangisi Pump," 15 Nov. 2018 During the match there was controversy with the presiding umpire, who made calls many saw as unfair and sexist against Williams. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Serena Williams Just Dropped a Music Video for Breast Cancer Awareness Month," 29 Sep. 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

17 Dec 2018

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 \
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 \
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

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