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 In Nevada, where Biden is winning by more than 33,000 votes, the Nevada Supreme Court will meet Nov. 24 to certify statewide results, after which Gov. Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, will publicly proclaim the winner. Anchorage Daily News, "Escalating attacks put pressure on vote certification process," 20 Nov. 2020 A few weeks later, the vice president, with the speaker at his side, would oversee the completion of the count, and proclaim Hayes as president. Daniel Larsen, Star Tribune, "What happens if neither Trump nor Biden concedes?," 2 Nov. 2020 Election after election, Republican candidates and their supporters proclaim the tide is turning, but the numbers show that isn’t happening in 2020. Anthony Man,, "Poll shows Biden with commanding 51-point lead over Trump among Florida Jewish voters," 21 Oct. 2020 Alaskans will soon see TV ads, hear radio announcements and watch as banners on the sides of city buses proclaim the result of an Alaska Supreme Court decision. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Election officials launch campaign to inform voters of witness signature change after Alaska Supreme Court decision," 14 Oct. 2020 Those institutions wear their progressive bona fides on their sleeves and proclaim it for all the world to hear. Kyle Smith, National Review, "An Oscar Contender Considers the White Working Class," 24 Sep. 2020 In recent days, some Democratic leaders have bitterly complained that the Biden campaign stinted on buying TV ads in Texas — possibly missing out on an opportunity to proclaim Trump’s presidency kaput on election night. Robert T. Garrett, Dallas News, "Biden rebounds to edge over Trump in Texas, as Hegar slightly narrows Cornyn’s lead in Senate race," 25 Oct. 2020 The fastest way to make a fool of yourself in media in recent years was to proclaim that, at long last, Trump had pivoted. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "In Memoriam: The Trump Pivot," 22 Oct. 2020 Those institutions wear their progressive bona fides on their sleeves and proclaim it for all the world to hear. Kyle Smith, National Review, "An Oscar Contender Considers the White Working Class," 24 Sep. 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

23 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Proclaim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Nov. 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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