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

transitive verb

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

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.

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Even while proclaiming a partial victory Wednesday, Israeli war cabinet minister and Netanyahu rival Benny Gantz seemed to admit so. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, 11 Apr. 2024 Conspiracy theorists are overanalyzing every movement of Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce, proclaiming anything and everything (engagements! Meg Walters, Glamour, 10 Apr. 2024 Now, one city has proclaimed itself the first in South Florida go with a 100% electric bus fleet: Hallandale Beach. Ashley Miznazi, Miami Herald, 10 Apr. 2024 The disaster area was officially proclaimed by Gov. Williams to be bounded by Jennings, Bray, Carpenter and Stanley Roads. Jerome Hansen, Jack Schermerhorn, Ralph Nelson and Ken McCormick, Detroit Free Press, 6 Apr. 2024 Were the state enjoying the huge budget surpluses that Newsom erroneously proclaimed two years ago, the coalition would be proposing new or expanded programs. Dan Walters, The Mercury News, 5 Apr. 2024 Organizations like the American Psychiatric Association are touting the benefits of therapy animals and nature therapy, while proclaiming the mental health benefits of pet ownership. Sarah Owermohle, STAT, 5 Apr. 2024 Nearly two decades later, that album is barely in print and deserves a reissue proclaiming it as a foundational text for subsequent generations. Stephen Deusner, SPIN, 1 Apr. 2024 Marvel Studios recently proclaimed the former Netflix shows to be MCU canon. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 Mar. 2024

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near proclaim

Cite this Entry

“Proclaim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


pro·​claim prō-ˈklām How to pronounce proclaim (audio)
: to announce publicly
proclaimed his innocence
: to declare formally
proclaim a holiday
proclaimer noun

Legal Definition


transitive verb
pro·​claim prō-ˈklām How to pronounce proclaim (audio)
: to declare or declare to be solemnly, officially, or formally
proclaim an amnesty

More from Merriam-Webster on proclaim

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