\ 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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Except for two requirements, Graves had mostly free reign over the design of the Wilsons’ home away from home. Lennie Omalza, The Courier-Journal, 21 Apr. 2022 Delegates typically have free reign to propose revisions — or even entirely new constitutions — that would then go back to voters for ratification. Becky Bohrer And David A. Lieb, Anchorage Daily News, 20 Mar. 2022 Police began to move in Friday, after 20 days of protesters having free-reign in the capital’s downtown. Washington Post, 20 Feb. 2022 Far too often, Apple lets developers have free reign to clone popular apps and games to their heart's content. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 12 Jan. 2022 As a child, he was given free reign to invent, reimagine and to mentally start from scratch. Hessie Jones, Forbes, 29 Oct. 2021 Coach Gregg Popovich has given Murray and the Spurs’ bevy of guards free reign to ball-hawk. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, 16 Oct. 2021 With Kylie out of the way, Kendall has free reign of the famous Met steps as the only Jenner sister in attendance. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, 14 Sep. 2021 With the comic slated for cancellation in July of the next year, writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko (although the iconic cover was drawn by Jack Kirby) were given free reign for the book’s final issue. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 10 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As its name suggests, The Sea Beast is a seafaring tale that takes place in a world where ocean monsters reign. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, 10 May 2022 The Hoyas already earned the right to host the Big East Tournament semifinals and final but would love to reign as the top seed after capturing the conference’s regular-season championship outright. Edward Lee, Baltimore Sun, 29 Apr. 2022 Taureans can also harness their practicality to reign empires (literally speaking, in the case of Queen Elizabeth II). Glamour, 20 Apr. 2022 Though the era of pantaboots and all-latex everything may seem to reign supreme among the A-list fashion set, Zoë Kravitz and Channing Tatum are proving that all is not lost for the minimalist. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 19 Apr. 2022 As on Instagram, beauty videos reign (#BeautyTok has 6.9 billion views), with a razor-sharp algorithm and a viral machine that serves viewers a constant stream of bite-size snippets. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, 8 Apr. 2022 Royal historian Robert Lacey suggests that for the institution's long-term health, Charles should not reign as King outside of the U.K. Simon Perry,, 23 Mar. 2022 There is, however, one place women reign supreme: Airbnb. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 16 Mar. 2022 Reaching the top spot in the rankings is one of tennis’s ultimate achievements, and Medvedev is the first man outside the Big Four of Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray to reign at No. 1 since early 2004. New York Times, 15 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

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

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More Definitions for reign


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on reign

Nglish: Translation of reign for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reign for Arabic Speakers


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