\ ˈrān How to pronounce reign (audio) \

Definition of reign

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : royal authority : sovereignty under the reign of the Stuart kings
b : the dominion, sway, or influence of one resembling a monarch the reign of the Puritan ministers
2 : the time during which someone (such as a sovereign) reigns


reigned; reigning; reigns

Definition of reign (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to possess or exercise sovereign power : rule
b : to hold office as chief of state although possessing little governing power in England the sovereign reigns but does not rule
2 : to exercise authority in the manner of a monarch
3 : to be predominant or prevalent chaos reigned in the classroom

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Examples of reign in a Sentence

Noun She was a popular ruler throughout her reign. the reign of Queen Elizabeth his reign as department chairperson her reign as team president his reign as heavyweight boxing champion the reign of digital technology Verb The king reigned in a time of peace and prosperity. The lion reigns as king of the jungle.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The tradition of giving Valentine’s Day flowers dates back to the late 17th century, during the reign of King Charles II of Sweden. Janet B. Carson, Arkansas Online, "Happy Valentine's Day," 15 Feb. 2021 The Horti Lamiani were commissioned by Lucius Aelius Lamia, a wealthy senator and consul who bequeathed his property to the emperor, most likely during the reign of his friend Tiberius from A.D. 14 to 37. New York Times, "Caligula’s Garden of Delights, Unearthed and Restored," 12 Jan. 2021 The coins in England were likely minted during the reign of Emperor Shenzong of Song, who ruled from 1067 to 1085 A.D. and were in circulation after the dynasty ended in the 1120s, per Green’s blog post. Isis Davis-marks, Smithsonian Magazine, "Medieval Chinese Coin Found in England Suggests a Vast Medieval Trade Route," 4 Jan. 2021 Spain established its national lottery as a charity in 1763 during the reign of King Carlos III. Fox News, "Spain's 'El Gordo' Christmas lottery shells out $489,000 in winnings," 23 Dec. 2020 The English Parliament legally placed an absolute pardon power in the hands of the monarch in 1535 during the reign of King Henry VIII. Scott Davidson, The Conversation, "Pardon me? An ethicist’s guide to what is proper when it comes to presidential pardons," 14 Dec. 2020 The first law to authorize human dissection is established during the reign of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "The Entire History of the Autopsy," 11 Nov. 2020 The collection is inspired by the Belle Epoque grandeur during the reign of Prince Felix and Princess Irina in the early 20th century. Lola Ogunnaike, Town & Country, "Louis Vuitton Returns to the Art World for Its Latest Statement Handbag," 15 Oct. 2020 These trees germinated during the reign of William the Conqueror in 1066—from a simple acorn like this [hold up acorn]. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince William Encourages People Around the World to "Repair Our Planet" in Impassioned TED Talk," 10 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Elliott is sponsoring the legislation, SB107, which aims to reign in Alabama’s extraterritorial jurisdictions. al, "Alabama legislation looks to reign in police and planning jurisdictions," 21 Feb. 2021 But in the Big 12, the traditional idea that spread offenses reign supreme and defenses are nowhere to be found is being challenged by Oklahoma State, Texas' next opponent. Dallas News, "Tom Herman knows Sam Ehlinger, Longhorns have tall task ahead vs. experienced Oklahoma State," 26 Oct. 2020 Hilda is understandably rattled but Lilith, who has already waited millennia to reign over hell, has perspective. Jessica Goldstein, Vulture, "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Recap: The Vanishing Half," 1 Jan. 2021 These baked and boiled breads — with a hole — may reign supreme in New York City, but excellent versions also are made every day in Utah restaurants, delis and bakeries. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Tell us who makes Utah’s best bagel," 15 Jan. 2021 This super trendy tie-dye top While fashion trends were few and far between in 2020, one pattern seemed to reign supreme above all others in quarantine—tie dye. Nicole Briese, USA TODAY, "The 15 best things to buy on sale at Nordstrom right now," 13 Dec. 2020 While hip-hop largely continued to reign on Streaming Songs in 2020, the other major story on the chart this year was the continued rise of the country genre on streaming services after multiple years where country artists barely appeared at all. Kevin Rutherford, Billboard, "The Year in Streaming Charts 2020: Roddy Ricch Rules & Country Rises," 3 Dec. 2020 Congressman Andy Biggs of Arizona, the chair of the Freedom Caucus, told Fox News in an interview Tuesday that Cheney should reign as conference chair. CBS News, "House impeaches Trump for Capitol riot in historic bipartisan rebuke," 14 Jan. 2021 The disclosure comes as regulators, policymakers and smaller tech competitors push to reign in Big Tech's influence and power. Clare Duffy, CNN, "Apple proxy statement includes section about antitrust risk for the first time," 5 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reign.' 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 reign


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


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

History and Etymology for reign


Middle English regne, from Anglo-French, from Latin regnum, from reg-, rex king — more at royal

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Time Traveler for reign

Time Traveler

The first known use of reign was in the 13th century

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Statistics for reign

Last Updated

28 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reign.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for reign



English Language Learners Definition of reign

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the period of time during which a king, queen, emperor, etc., is ruler of a country
: the period of time during which someone is in charge of a group or organization
: the period of time during which someone or something is the best or the most important, powerful, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of reign (Entry 2 of 2)

: to rule as a king, queen, emperor, etc.
: to be the best or the most powerful or important person or thing
used to say that a quality exists to such a degree in a place or situation that it affects everything about that place or situation


\ ˈrān How to pronounce reign (audio) \

Kids Definition of reign

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the authority or rule of a monarch
2 : the time during which a monarch rules


reigned; reigning

Kids Definition of reign (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to rule as a monarch
2 : to be usual or widespread Enthusiasm reigned in the classroom.
3 : to be the best or most powerful the reigning champions

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More from Merriam-Webster on reign

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for reign

Nglish: Translation of reign for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reign for Arabic Speakers

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