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

Wilson appointed Maxwell to serve out the final weeks of his term as lieutenant governor, and no one disputed the appointment or tried to bar Maxwell from presiding over the Senate at the start of the 2001 legislative session. Jason Hancock, kansascity, "Gov. Parson picks his replacement as lieutenant governor, reopening a legal debate," 18 June 2018 Mattis stopped in Hawaii to conduct bilateral discussions with key Asian military leaders before presiding Wednesday at the installation of Navy Adm. Phil Davidson as the leader of the powerful Pacific Command. Carl Prine,, "Defense secretary telegraphs changes to strategy in Pacific, Indian oceans," 29 May 2018 Nikias, 65, became president in 2010 and presided over the university at a time of tremendous growth, attracting international students and top-tier faculty while completing a $6 billion fund-raising effort and opening dozens of new buildings. Jennifer Medina,, "USC president resigns over scandal involving gynecologist," 26 May 2018 Mollica, the judge presiding at the first appearance hearing, ordered bonds of $93,600 for Ductan. Linda Trischitta,, "Driver charged in teen passenger’s death after high-speed police chase," 7 May 2018 The United States was at war with al-Qaida at the time of the 9/11 attacks, the military judge presiding at the trial of the alleged plotters has ruled. Carol Rosenberg, miamiherald, "America was at war with al-Qaida by 9/11, judge rules. When did it start? Stay tuned. | Miami Herald," 26 Apr. 2018 Pope Francis on Sunday presided at the Procession and Mass for Palm Sunday, as the Church enters into the celebration of Holy Week. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "Did Pope Francis really say there is no hell?," 30 Mar. 2018 The event, held annually in Monaco since 1954, and now presided over by Prince Albert, raises funds for artist scholarships and the Princess Grace Foundation. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "Princess Caroline Wore Her Mother Grace Kelly's Pearls for the First Time Since Her Death," 1 Apr. 2019 The property is owned by a holding company presided over by James Wang, mortgage records show. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "Beverly Hills ‘Upside Down’ House Comes to Market for $32 Million," 27 Mar. 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

23 Apr 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).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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