pro·​ceed·​ing | \prō-ˈsē-diŋ, prə-\

Definition of proceeding 

1 : legal action a divorce proceeding

2 : procedure

3 proceedings plural : events, happenings

5 proceedings plural : an official record of things said or done

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Synonyms for proceeding


course, operation, procedure, process

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Mr Haris briefly quit, saying that the NAB’s arbitrary rush to reach a judgment—handily, for Mr Sharif’s enemies, just before the election—was undermining the integrity of the proceedings. The Economist, "Pakistan’s former prime minister embraces jail to rally his party," 12 July 2018 But in California state law limits electronic recording of court proceedings to only infractions and misdemeanor criminal cases, and lawsuits where less than $25,000 is at stake. Greg Moran,, "State high court strikes down rule requiring poor to pay for own court reporter in civil courts," 6 July 2018 In order to be competent for trial, a criminal defendant must understand the nature of court proceedings and be able to assist in his own defense. Tony Rizzo, kansascity, "Man found in Lenexa with wife's dismembered body is competent for trial," 3 July 2018 The two dioceses separately have a pending appeal of grand jury rules requiring attorneys for witnesses to keep an oath of secrecy outside of grand jury proceedings. Peter Smith,, "Two Pa. dioceses tried to block grand jury probe into clergy sex abuse, documents show," 29 June 2018 Christian Eriksen had catapulted the Danes into an early lead on Thursday after a sumptuous strike on the half volley but after hitting the front Denmark wilted as the Aussies took control of proceedings., "Denmark Boss Confident of Reaching Knockout Stages After Australia Draw But Admits Side Are Fatigued," 21 June 2018 As part of Jones' divorce proceedings, Slavin said, Jones had been required to see Pitt. Manuel Torres,, "Suspect in six Arizona shootings attacked victims tied to his divorce, police say," 5 June 2018 The women are not part of the current criminal proceedings. Brynn Gingras, CNN, "New rape allegation against Harvey Weinstein in class-action lawsuit," 1 June 2018 The prosecutor's office now will ask a judge to release the transcript of the proceeding. Maxine Bernstein,, "Grand jury finds no criminal wrongdoing in police fatal shooting of man inside Portland shelter," 9 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'proceeding.' 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 proceeding

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for proceeding

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

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English Language Learners Definition of proceeding

law : the process of appearing before a court of law so a decision can be made about an argument or claim : a legal action

proceedings : things that are said or done at a meeting, conference, ceremony, etc.

: an official record of the things said or done at a meeting, conference, etc.



Legal Definition of proceeding 

1 : a particular step or series of steps in the enforcement, adjudication, or administration of rights, remedies, laws, or regulations: as

a : 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

b : a hearing conducted by an administrative body

c : a criminal prosecution or investigation

2  plural : an official record of things done or said

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playful or foolish behavior

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