reg·​nant ˈreg-nənt How to pronounce regnant (audio)
: exercising rule : reigning
: having the chief power : dominant
: of common or widespread occurrence

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The origin of regnant is straightforward: it comes from the Latin verb regnare, meaning "to reign." Regnare, in turn, traces back to the noun regnum, meaning "reign." (Regnum was bestowed with the meaning "kingdom" in English.) These words ultimately descend from rex, the Latin for "king" and a word familiar to those who have read or seen the Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex.

Examples of regnant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Within many of our most crucial institutions, suppositions that would have been considered the height of lunacy even a few years ago have become regnant overnight. Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review, 27 June 2023 This was not always the case in Japan — there have been eight empresses regnant throughout history — but the Imperial Household Law introduced in 1947 restricts the throne to the male line of succession and requires women who marry outside of the family to leave. Emily Krauser, Peoplemag, 13 Apr. 2023 Good luck with that: With too few exceptions, the Obama–Biden theory of Iran is the regnant Democratic theory of Iran. Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review, 19 Mar. 2022 The trope tends to elegize artists who are perceived to be ahead of their time or otherwise inimical to regnant conventions. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, 19 July 2021 Their leaders speak with a regnant air, hammering the notion that their return to power is all but inevitable. Los Angeles Times, 18 July 2021 The people that once boldly threw off the tyranny of a distant monarch now seem to be meekly submitting to the diktats of a regnant class and ideology that tolerate less independence of thought and action than King George III did. Gerard Baker, WSJ, 12 Apr. 2021 The regnant ideology never cites real-world examples. Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review, 19 Sep. 2020 According to the Telegraph’s Dalya Alberge, the cloth likely landed in Bacton thanks to the village’s association with Blanche Parry, one of the Tudor regnant’s longtime attendants. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, 15 Aug. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'regnant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin regnant-, regnans, present participle of regnare to reign, from regnum

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of regnant was in the 15th century


Dictionary Entries Near regnant

Cite this Entry

“Regnant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

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