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 And, like the airlines, most every airport is going all out to proclaim extreme vigilance in keeping facilities clean and travelers safe. Harriet Baskas, USA TODAY, "Airports welcome back travelers with new rules, protocols and promises," 19 June 2020 In response, industries, environmental groups and political leaders have put out statements to proclaim their solidarity with the Black struggle. Erin Stone, The Arizona Republic, "'Hey, we're here': Black conservationists claim their space in their field," 10 July 2020 This Juneteenth is a rare moment for our communities to proclaim in one voice that Black Lives Matter. Essence, "#SIXNINETEEN: Movement For Black Lives Calls For Juneteenth Actions," 16 June 2020 Britishness was easy to proclaim—the Union Jacks, the red post boxes. Larissa Macfarquhar, The New Yorker, "How Prosperity Transformed the Falklands," 29 June 2020 According to the Library of Congress, Texas became the first state to proclaim Juneteenth an official state holiday in 1980. Joshua Gargiulo, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Barack Obama mentioned Juneteenth multiple times while president," 28 June 2020 At once proud of Fort Hood and deeply tied to its fortunes, merchants often proclaim their ties to the military and find ways to thank men and women in the service. Sig Christenson,, "Push to purge Confederate names gets minimal traction around Fort Hood, but military is paying attention," 20 June 2020 The vocal minority of — including such notable conservative intellectuals as George Will, Max Boot and William Kristol — proclaim their loyalty to a different Republican Party, that of Ronald Reagan. Peniel E. Joseph, Washington Post, "From Ronald Reagan in Philadelphia, Miss., to Donald Trump in Tulsa, a pattern of racially divisive politics," 19 June 2020 Other athletes proclaim their unity with him then cash their checks and make Zoom videos. Marcy Bregman, Los Angeles Times, "Letters: Will the NFL bring back Colin Kaepernick?," 12 June 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

26 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Proclaim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for proclaim


How to pronounce proclaim (audio)

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.
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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