pro·​claim | \prō-ˈklām, 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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Overall, Porsche proclaims an electric range of 500 km. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Everything We Know About the Porsche Taycan," 2 Aug. 2018 In June, government and military officials proclaimed the area safe in a campaign spread in the news media, through local community leaders and in messages delivered in camps. New York Times, "A Homecoming for Nigerians Who Fled Militants. All That’s Missing Is the ‘Home.’," 10 July 2018 Orban, who celebrated the start of his fourth term as prime minister on Thursday by proclaiming the death of liberal democracy, won a two-thirds parliamentary majority in last month’s vote. Griff Witte, Washington Post, "Viktor Orban promised ‘revenge’ against his enemies in Hungary. Now they’re preparing for it.," 14 May 2018 Trump also proclaimed May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and May 13-19 as Police Week. Alfred Cang,, "U.S. to Provide Funds for More Police, Improve School Safety," 12 May 2018 Irvin also this week proclaimed Thursday as Flag Day in the city of Aurora — a formality because June 14 has been recognized nationally as Flag Day for many years. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "City recognitions show Aurora's diversity," 13 June 2018 Griffin, who starred for undefeated and self-proclaimed national champion Central Florida, plays - and excels - without a left hand after it was amputated at the age of 4. Mark Heim,, "Shaquem Griffin among top 5 in NFL rookie jersey sales," 3 May 2018 These companies can then masquerade as champions of social justice, proclaiming a half-baked message of equality with no financial loss and plenty to gain. Julianne Tveten, The New Republic, "How corporate America has commodified the protest movements of the Trump era," 4 Apr. 2018 The youngster from East Troy proclaimed his farmhand prowess one recent day of camp at FarmWise Education in Elkhorn. Anne Schamberg, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Farming out the kids: Gathering eggs, milking cows, cooking teach about country life," 3 July 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about proclaim

Statistics for proclaim

Last Updated

26 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for proclaim

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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)

: to show (something) clearly


pro·​claim | \prō-ˈklām \
proclaimed; proclaiming

Kids Definition of proclaim

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


transitive verb
pro·​claim | \prō-ˈklām \

Legal Definition of proclaim 

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on proclaim

What made you want to look up proclaim? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a typical or ideal example

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!