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

Russia, under President Vladimir Putin, annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014, proclaiming a duty to defend the ethnic Russians who dominate the population there. Washington Post, "Legacy of Ukraine Revolution Rides on March Election: QuickTake," 18 Sep. 2019 This was supposed to be the year Syracuse proclaimed its place among the Top 25 programs in college football — after a 10-win 2018, the Orange were hyped all offseason as the closest thing to a rival Clemson would find in the ACC. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Three takeaways from No. 1 Clemson's blowout win over Syracuse," 13 Sep. 2019 To be an American is to subscribe to those principles which the Declaration of Independence proclaims and the Constitution protects — the political values of self-government, liberty and justice, equal rights, and equal opportunity. Romina Boccia, Twin Cities, "Romina Boccia: ‘When we leave here today, we are free’," 10 Sep. 2019 Get our daily newsletter Foreign investors bought into his liberalising vision after the 2015 election, with Wall Street chiefs such as Jamie Dimon, boss of JPMorgan Chase, proclaiming that Argentina had come in from the cold. The Economist, "Blame populists, not reformers, for Argentina’s latest fiasco," 5 Sep. 2019 To clarify, birthright citizenship is literally part of the US Constitution, a document that Republicans traditionally proclaim as sacred. Graeme Mcmillan, WIRED, "While You Were Offline: Who Wants to See Sean Spicer’s Samba?," 25 Aug. 2019 The Bolshevik Revolution was two years old when Mandrikov and Berzin took control of the regional administration, seized fur storehouses, and proclaimed the establishment of the first Soviet revolutionary committee, or Revkom, in Chukotka. Bathsheba Demuth, The New Yorker, "When the Soviet Union Freed the Arctic from Capitalist Slavery," 15 Aug. 2019 Smith was part of the white nationalist Creativity Movement, led by Matthew Hale, which proclaimed the superiority and creativity of whites. Matthew Vantryon, Indianapolis Star, "A white nationalist killed a black coach 20 years ago. The horror changed his friend forever.," 7 Aug. 2019 Virginia could no longer afford the kind of ambivalence Jefferson had exhibited, proclaiming slavery an evil yet living on its fruits. Drew Gilpin Faust, The Atlantic, "Race, History, and Memories of a Virginia Girlhood," 18 July 2019

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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Statistics for proclaim

Last Updated

15 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for proclaim

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on proclaim

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for proclaim

Spanish Central: Translation of proclaim

Nglish: Translation of proclaim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of proclaim for Arabic Speakers

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