\ 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 Even after rivals like Exxon Mobil Corp. abandoned the country during the reign of the late Hugo Chavez, Chevron held on. Kevin Crowley,, "Trump Ready to End Chevron’s Sanctions Waiver in Venezuela," 6 May 2020 Presented by Helen Castor, PhD, and filmed on location in England and France, this BBC series brings history to life by examining the reigns of seven extraordinary English queens. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "The Best British Shows and Movies to Stream If You Love The Royal Family," 4 May 2020 Her own maternal grandmother had been a teacher in rural Peru during the reign of the Shining Path and had told her about the horror of that time. Julie Turkewitz, New York Times, "Peru’s Queen of Quechua Rap Fuses the Transgressive and Traditional," 28 Apr. 2020 The sovereign’s birthday has been officially marked with a military parade in June since the reign of King George II. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth Will Not Have a Gun Salute on Her Birthday for the First Time in Her Reign," 18 Apr. 2020 Mount Vesuvius turned a Herculaneum man’s brain to glass, according to archaeologists, who also revived the voice of a priest from the reign of Ramesses XI and determined that a mummy in the Ulster Museum had been stabbed in the back. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's Magazine, "Findings," 30 Mar. 2020 Dineobellator was built to be a carnivorous predator who thrived, even during the reign of Tyrannosaurus rex at the end of the Cretaceous period before the mass extinction event 66 million years ago. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Newly discovered feathered dinosaur was one of the last raptors before extinction," 26 Mar. 2020 Two silver pennies narrow the date even further; both coins were minted during the reign of King Edward III, between 1327 and 1377. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Mass grave reveals how Black Death impacted rural England," 6 Mar. 2020 Tall stone monuments covered in dense writing documented key events in Tikal’s history, such as the reigns of kings. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "‘Astounding new finds’ suggest ancient empire may be hiding in plain sight," 27 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Season 11's reigning Miss Congeniality, Nina West, will also return to crown her successor with a sash and a $10,000 prize. Joey Nolfi,, "Finalists to virtually lip-sync on RuPaul's Drag Race season 12 finale," 15 May 2020 Bayern Munich, the seven-time reigning Bundesliga champions, are once again in their familiar perch atop the Bundesliga table. Jim Reineking, USA TODAY, "Bundesliga season resumes Saturday: Here is what we know about soccer's return in Germany," 15 May 2020 Gray, during his tenure as a professor at Oxford, specialized in liberal political philosophy and was a reigning authority on Mill. Win Mccormack, The New Republic, "Mutant Liberalism," 14 May 2020 The reigning Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs will play the opening game of the 2020 season -- as is traditional for the Super Bowl winners -- hosting the Houston Texans. Calum Trenaman, CNN, "Tom Brady and Tampa Bay Buccaneers given five prime-time games in 2020 NFL season," 8 May 2020 Linneman, the reigning CHL Athlete of the Year, was the club's primary pitcher who finished 18-4 with a 0.55 ERA while averaging nearly two strikeouts per inning (225 in 113 IP). Shelby Dermer,, "What could have been: Bitter ending for softball players, teams around Greater Cincinnati," 6 May 2020 Taco Charlton, a former first-round draft pick who played for the Wolverines from 2013-16, is signing with the reigning Super Bowl Champs. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Kansas City Chiefs sign former Michigan football pass-rusher Taco Charlton," 4 May 2020 Pro makeup artist to the stars Keita Moore predicts neon eyeshadow shades, like bright blue and neon green, will reign supreme this summer. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "The Prettiest Summer Makeup Trends of 2020," 24 Apr. 2020 So why did Herzog acquire the reigning National League Fireman of the Year only to move him a few days later? Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "50 in 50: Brewers make a deal for three 1980s cornerstones," 20 Apr. 2020

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

18 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reign.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for reign


How to pronounce reign (audio)

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with reign

Spanish Central: Translation of reign

Nglish: Translation of reign for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reign for Arabic Speakers

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