pro·​nounce | \ prə-ˈnau̇n(t)s How to pronounce pronounce (audio) \
pronounced; pronouncing

Definition of pronounce

transitive verb

1 : to declare officially or ceremoniously the minister pronounced them husband and wife
2 : to declare authoritatively or as an opinion doctors pronounced him fit to resume duties
3a : to employ the organs of speech to produce pronounce these words especially : to say correctly I can't pronounce his name
b : to represent in printed characters the spoken counterpart of (an orthographic representation) both dictionaries pronounce clique the same
4 : recite speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you— William Shakespeare

intransitive verb

1 : to pass judgment
2 : to produce the components of spoken language

Other Words from pronounce

pronounceability \ prə-​ˌnau̇n(t)-​sə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce pronounce (audio) \ noun
pronounceable \ prə-​ˈnau̇n(t)-​sə-​bəl How to pronounce pronounce (audio) \ adjective
pronouncer noun

Examples of pronounce in a Sentence

She practices pronouncing foreign words. I'm sorry. I can't pronounce your name. The priest pronounced a blessing on their home. The doctors pronounced him fit to go back to work. He was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. Many senators are pronouncing in favor of the bill. The judge pronounced for the defendant. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Winfrey’s first name is spelled Orpah on her birth certificate but there was confusion over how to pronounce the name, so the spelling was changed to Oprah. CNN, 30 Jan. 2022 The whole altercation lasted less than a minute and ended with a wounded Craig running into a nearby aisle and leaving a trail of blood before collapsing in the same spot where medics would pronounce him dead minutes later. Cheyenne Roundtree, Rolling Stone, 24 Apr. 2022 But there's still debate about it, how the right way to pronounce it. Editors, USA TODAY, 26 Mar. 2022 In fact, leaders such as Frederiks embraced Protestant Christianity early on and used Christian names in their interactions with whites because the latter found Khoekhoegowab names difficult to pronounce. Joshua Hammer, The New York Review of Books, 10 Feb. 2022 It is told through the eyes of Doris, a white Englishwoman who is captured, sold into slavery, and renamed Omorenomwara because her captors find Doris difficult to pronounce. Anna Russell, The New Yorker, 3 Feb. 2022 According to 2013 research by T. Clifton Green and Russell Jame, businesses with short, easy to pronounce names perform better on the stock market. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, 24 Jan. 2022 Babbel, a language learning service, commissioned the report from the captioning provider based on the words newscasters found most difficult to pronounce throughout the year. Scottie Andrew, CNN, 7 Dec. 2021 Steve Lee has a story about the renowned artist who will be doing it, whose name is hard to pronounce. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 1 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pronounce.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of pronounce

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

History and Etymology for pronounce

Middle English, from Anglo-French pronuncier, from Latin pronuntiare, from pro- forth + nuntiare to report, from nuntius messenger — more at pro-

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

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Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pronounce.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for pronounce


pro·​nounce | \ prə-ˈnau̇ns How to pronounce pronounce (audio) \
pronounced; pronouncing

Kids Definition of pronounce

1 : to use the voice to make the sounds of He practiced pronouncing Spanish words.
2 : to say correctly I can't pronounce your name.
3 : to state in an official or solemn way The judge pronounced sentence.


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