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 Despite those accomplishments, the prospect of a follow-up to Invasion of Privacy always loomed over Cardi; she’s proclaimed that her sophomore album was coming nearly every year since her first. Mankaprr Conteh, Rolling Stone, 16 May 2024 Evers has proclaimed May 14 as Hmong-Lao Veterans Day in Wisconsin each year since assuming office in 2019. Claire Reid, Journal Sentinel, 14 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for proclaim 

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 28 May. 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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