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 atpresided 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 He is also set to preside over Lori Loughlin's case. CBS News, "Ex-insurance executive sentenced to 6 months in college admissions scandal," 13 Nov. 2019 Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Fitzgerald was sworn in to preside. Rick Pearson,, "As public hearings begin on Trump impeachment, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s removal provides a guide for the process and the rhetoric," 12 Nov. 2019 The judge was to preside over the nation’s first federal trial last month, but four companies reached settlements worth $260 million right before opening statements were set to begin. Eric Heisig, cleveland, "Appeals court in Ohio to review setup to negotiate large settlements for opioid lawsuits," 8 Nov. 2019 The Speaker’s job is merely to preside and keep order. The Economist, "Don’t expect MPs to make less trouble under Lindsay Hoyle," 7 Nov. 2019 Both sides hired doctors to evaluate Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 19, and a third, impartial evaluation was ordered by the judge presiding over the case. Washington Post, "Teen mentally incompetent to stand trial in 2018 mass shooting, all sides say," 5 Nov. 2019 After winning her first term as mayor in 2017, Zoppo-Sassu got to preside over Bristol Hospital’s opening of a 60,000-square-foot medical office and lab center on that site. Don Stacom,, "Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu’s pitch to voters: Bristol is going in the right direction," 29 Oct. 2019 Judges don’t need a law degree in Kansas, or many other states, to preside over cases like these. Lizzie Presser, ProPublica, "When Medical Debt Collectors Decide Who Gets Arrested," 16 Oct. 2019 Judges presiding over the case have appointed a series of monitors to oversee the department’s compliance. Megan Cassidy,, "Federal judge blasts Oakland for losing ground in court-ordered policing reforms," 21 Aug. 2019

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

19 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for preside

The first known use of preside was in 1608

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More Definitions for preside


How to pronounce preside (audio)

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

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to speed up the process or progress of

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