pro·​ceed·​ing prō-ˈsē-diŋ How to pronounce proceeding (audio)
: legal action
a divorce proceeding
proceedings plural : events, happenings
proceedings plural : an official record of things said or done

Examples of proceeding in a Sentence

The secretary kept a record of the proceedings at the meeting. She started the proceedings with a brief welcoming speech. The proceedings of the conference will be published.
Recent Examples on the Web The first round of discussions, on May 17, turned violent as some lawmakers tried to stop the proceedings. Stephanie Yang, Los Angeles Times, 24 May 2024 The case was expected to be moved to one of Hong Kong’s higher courts following the first hearing in a Magistrates’ Court, where all criminal proceedings in the city commence. Dorothy Ma, Fortune Europe, 23 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for proceeding 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'proceeding.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of proceeding was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near proceeding

Cite this Entry

“Proceeding.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


plural : things that happen
kept an eye on the proceedings
: a legal action

Legal Definition


: a particular step or series of steps in the enforcement, adjudication, or administration of rights, remedies, laws, or regulations: as
: an action, hearing, trial, or application before the court
collateral proceeding
: a proceeding that concerns an order, motion, petition, or writ deriving from or sought in relation to another proceeding (as a trial) a collateral proceeding on a motion to have the judge in a pending trial disqualified
especially : one in which a collateral attack on a judgment is made
sought to avoid the effect of the judgment in a collateral proceeding after denial of a direct appeal
core proceeding
: a proceeding (as one instituted by a debtor against a creditor) that is integral to the administration of a bankruptcy estate and so falls under the jurisdiction of the bankruptcy court
non-core proceeding
: a proceeding involving a matter that relates to a bankruptcy case but that does not arise under bankruptcy laws, that could be adjudicated in a state court, and over which a bankruptcy court has limited authority
special proceeding
: a proceeding (as for condemnation or disbarment) that may be commenced independently of a pending action by petition or motion and from which a final order affecting a substantial right may be immediately appealed special proceedings created exclusively by statute where a special procedure is appropriate and warrantedSosebee v. County Line Sch. Dist., 897 S.W.2d 556 (1995)
summary proceeding
: a civil or criminal proceeding in the nature of a trial that is conducted without formalities (as indictment, pleadings, and usually a jury) for the speedy and peremptory disposition of a matter
supplementary proceeding
: a proceeding to discover the assets of a judgment debtor
also : a proceeding that in some way supplements another
: a hearing conducted by an administrative body
: a criminal prosecution or investigation
plural : an official record of things done or said

More from Merriam-Webster on proceeding

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!