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 Superior Court Judge Timothy Walsmley is scheduled to preside over two days of pretrial motions hearings on May 12 and 13. Bill Rankin, ajc, "What’s next in the Ahmaud Arbery case," 29 Apr. 2021 When his son Beau died in 2015, a grieving Biden called upon O’Donovan to preside over the funeral Mass. Matthew Sitman, The New Republic, "Whither the Religious Left?," 15 Apr. 2021 The 36-member commission will be charged with completing its findings within 180 days of its first public meeting and will preside over a fraught political moment for the future of the nation’s high court. Ken Thomas, WSJ, "Biden Orders Creation of Commission to Study Supreme Court Changes," 9 Apr. 2021 Judge Kentaji Brown Jackson was nominated by Obama in 2013 to preside over the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Matthew Brown, USA TODAY, "Biden judicial nominees represent diverse professional backgrounds, identities," 30 Mar. 2021 Widely disparaged for his handling of a conference lagging in both revenue and prestige, Scott also happens to preside over teams responsible for the best story of the NCAA tournament. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, "Pac-12 disrespected? Yes, but Larry Scott—like Bill Walton—saw a breakout coming," 24 Mar. 2021 Rabbi Felicia Sol, who had officiated the couple’s wedding in New York, appeared on video to preside over the funeral and at least 250 people tuned in. Asaf Shalev,, "Jews in mourning finding unexpected comfort in virtual minyans," 3 Mar. 2021 The rioters threatened then-Vice President Mike Pence for fulfilling his constitutional duty to preside impartially over the count. Elaine Ayala, San Antonio Express-News, "Ayala: 'Darkness doesn't win' - counter COVID stress with love, forgiveness, fortitude," 25 Feb. 2021 Former Vice President Mike Pence was also present to preside over the proceedings. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Senate votes to award hero Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal," 12 Feb. 2021

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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Time Traveler for preside

Time Traveler

The first known use of preside was in 1608

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Statistics for preside

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Preside.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on preside

Nglish: Translation of preside for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of preside for Arabic Speakers

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