pro·​claim | \ prō-ˈklām How to pronounce proclaim (audio) , prə- \
proclaimed; proclaiming; proclaims

Definition of proclaim

transitive verb

1a : to declare publicly, typically insistently, proudly, or defiantly and in either speech or writing : announce
b : to give outward indication of : show his manner proclaimed his genteel upbringing
2 : to declare or declare to be solemnly, officially, or formally proclaim an amnesty proclaim the country a republic
3 : to praise or glorify openly or publicly : extol proclaimed the rescue workers' efforts

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Other Words from proclaim

proclaimer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for proclaim

declare, announce, proclaim, promulgate mean to make known publicly. declare implies explicitness and usually formality in making known. the referee declared the contest a draw announce implies the declaration of something for the first time. announced their engagement at a party proclaim implies declaring clearly, forcefully, and authoritatively. the president proclaimed a national day of mourning promulgate implies the proclaiming of a dogma, doctrine, or law. promulgated an edict of religious toleration

Did You Know?

The pro- in proclaim means "forward, out", so a proclamation is an "outward" statement intended for the public. We often think of proclamations as something issued by monarchs or dictators, but Lincoln was able to issue his Emancipation Proclamation because as president he had the power to free the slaves in certain areas. At a slightly lower level, a governor may proclaim a day in honor of the state's firemen, a movie critic may proclaim a director to be the best of all, or you may proclaim your New Year's resolutions to a crowd of friends.

Examples of proclaim in a Sentence

She proclaimed that she will run for governor. The President proclaimed a national day of mourning. He took command of the government and proclaimed himself emperor. The magazine proclaimed him to be the best player in baseball. He proclaimed his love for her in a poem. His behavior proclaimed his good upbringing.
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Recent Examples on the Web Men draped themselves in Roman togas to proclaim in public, signed their letters with the names of famous Romans and filled etiquette manuals, sermons and schoolbooks with lessons from the classical past. New York Times, "He Wants to Save Classics From Whiteness. Can the Field Survive?," 2 Feb. 2021 If watching the Duke and Daphne make love during a storm in Bridgerton inspired some big feelings, don't sleep on watching Mr. Darcy proclaim his love for Elizabeth Bennet in the rain. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "So You’ve Finished Bridgerton. Here’s What to Watch Next," 5 Jan. 2021 Despite the current headwinds, the developers proclaim optimism about the prospects of Mark 302. Roger Vincent Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Santa Monica’s historic Sears store has been remade as office space, but who’s renting?," 6 Dec. 2020 The Capitol’s architecture is meant to proclaim, among other ideals, that the workings of democracy are transparent and public, and that the halls of government are not remote palaces, but workplaces that are also monuments and museums. Justin Davidson, Curbed, "Can an Armored Capitol Still Be the People’s House?," 14 Jan. 2021 Those who proclaim an epidemic of pandemic denial routinely misrepresent evidence. Jacob Hale Russell, STAT, "Let’s put the straw man of pandemic denial out of his misery," 23 Dec. 2020 While the board’s actions proclaim the official results, individual discovery recounts can still be conducted through the courts. Rick Pearson,, "Illinois election board certifies voting results, sending state’s 20 electoral votes to Joe Biden. Turnout neared 73%, the highest since 1992," 4 Dec. 2020 Given the passing game’s issues at Cal and Anthony Brown’s solid debut (3 for 4 for 17 yards and two touchdowns), there will be those who pounce to proclaim a change should happen. James Crepea | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "10 takeaways from Oregon’s win over USC in Pac-12 championship game," 20 Dec. 2020 Doctors and scientists proudly proclaim just how many zeroes their p-value has (0.0001!). Benjamin Mazer, Wired, "Republicans Are P-Hacking the Supreme Court," 11 Dec. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for proclaim

Middle English proclamen, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French proclamer, from Latin proclamare, from pro- before + clamare to cry out — more at pro-, claim

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Time Traveler for proclaim

Time Traveler

The first known use of proclaim was in the 14th century

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Statistics for proclaim

Last Updated

9 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Proclaim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for proclaim



English Language Learners Definition of proclaim

: to say or state (something) in a public, official, or definite way : to declare or announce (something)
formal : to show (something) clearly


pro·​claim | \ prō-ˈklām How to pronounce proclaim (audio) \
proclaimed; proclaiming

Kids Definition of proclaim

: to announce publicly : declare The president proclaimed a holiday.


transitive verb
pro·​claim | \ prō-ˈklām How to pronounce proclaim (audio) \

Legal Definition of proclaim

: to declare or declare to be solemnly, officially, or formally proclaim an amnesty

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