verb pro·ceed \prō-ˈsēd, prə-\

Definition of proceed

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to come forth from a source :  issue strange sounds proceeded from the room

  3. 2a :  to continue after a pause or interruptionb :  to go on in an orderly regulated way

  4. 3a :  to begin and carry on an action, process, or movementb :  to be in the process of being accomplished the work is proceeding well

  5. 4 :  to move along a course :  advance

Examples of proceed in a sentence

  1. Tenet's problem is that the intelligence and the war proceeded in lockstep: no intelligence, no war. —Thomas Powers, New York Review of Books, 19 July 2007

  2. But we're both gasping, and proceed to play the ugliest, slowest game in history. —S. L. Price, Sports Illustrated, 31 Dec. 2007

  3. That ash includes light particles that strong winds proceed to carry over much of the country … —Jared M. Diamond, Collapse, 2005

  4. After the interruption, she proceeded with her presentation.

  5. Before we proceed further, does anyone have any questions?

  6. We will proceed according to plan.

  7. We may not be able to proceed as planned.

  8. The problems have been fixed and the work can now proceed.

  9. All passengers must proceed to the baggage claim area.

  10. The crowd proceeded toward the exits.

  11. The troops proceeded north along the river.

Origin and Etymology of proceed

Middle English proceden, from Anglo-French proceder, from Latin procedere, from pro- forward + cedere to go — more at pro-

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of proceed

spring, arise, rise, originate, derive, flow, issue, emanate, proceed, stem mean to come up or out of something into existence. spring implies rapid or sudden emerging. an idea that springs to mind arise and rise may both convey the fact of coming into existence or notice but rise often stresses gradual growth or ascent. new questions have arisen slowly rose to prominence originate implies a definite source or starting point. the fire originated in the basement derive implies a prior existence in another form. the holiday derives from an ancient Roman feast flow adds to spring a suggestion of abundance or ease of inception. words flowed easily from her pen issue suggests emerging from confinement through an outlet. blood issued from the cut emanate applies to the coming of something immaterial (such as a thought) from a source. reports emanating from the capital proceed stresses place of origin, derivation, parentage, or logical cause. advice that proceeds from the best of intentions stem implies originating by dividing or branching off from something as an outgrowth or subordinate development. industries stemming from space research

PROCEED Defined for English Language Learners


verb pro·ceed \prō-ˈsēd, prə-\

Definition of proceed for English Language Learners

  • : to continue to do something

  • : to continue being done

  • : to do something after you have done something else

PROCEED Defined for Kids


verb pro·ceed \prō-ˈsēd\

Definition of proceed for Students




  1. 1 :  to go forward or onward :  advance The plane stopped in Chicago before proceeding to Boston.

  2. 2 :  to begin and continue with an action or process … Grayson took the mound and proceeded to pitch … — Jerry Spinelli, Maniac Magee

  3. 3 :  to go or act by an orderly method Did the meeting proceed according to plan?

  4. 4 :  to come from a source Light proceeds from the sun.

Word Root of proceed

The Latin word cedere, meaning “to go,” gives us the root ced. Words from the Latin cedere have something to do with going. To precede is to go before. To exceed is to go beyond a limit. To proceed is to go forward. To recede is to go back or away.

Seen and Heard

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


to help become familiar with something

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • ludwig-richter-spring-has-arrived
  • Which is a synonym of upbraid?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.