\ 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 final road contest of the season is Nov. 21 at UTEP and the Blazers close out its reign at Legion Field, Nov. 28, against rival Southern Miss. Evan Dudley, al, "UAB releases 2020 football schedule," 8 Jan. 2020 His political reign began in the late 1980s with his election to the lowest rung on the District’s political ladder: a seat on a Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission. Washington Post, "D.C. Council member Jack Evans to resign over ethics violations," 7 Jan. 2020 After teetering on the brink of a major downturn in the final months of 2018, the stock market bounced back and thrived in 2019, extending its reign as the longest bull market in history. Jessica Menton, USA TODAY, "Stock market: Here’s why your 401(k) is celebrating 2019 before ringing in 2020," 31 Dec. 2019 Today, Kerala sings paeans to and pines for his prosperous and just reign. Harish Pullanoor, Quartz India, "We, the permanent villains of Indian mythology, must reclaim our fallen icons," 30 Dec. 2019 Christmas, which was released in October of 2011, has revisited the top 10 of the Billboard 200 in every Christmas season since its initial reign. Keith Caulfield, Billboard, "Harry Styles' 'Fine Line' Spends Second Week at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart," 29 Dec. 2019 His policies were fairly tolerant of local religions, but when Antiochus IV began his reign in 174 BCE, things changed. The Editorial Board, Orange County Register, "Hanukkah and the light of our many freedoms," 23 Dec. 2019 So for now, the Queen—and her heir—will continue to navigate this unique period of her reign. Elizabeth Angell, Town & Country, "The Royal Family Issues a Rare Response to Rumors That Queen Elizabeth Plans to Retire at 95," 6 Dec. 2019 The numerical title refers to the number of women King Henry VIII married during his 16th century reign. Dominic P. Papatola, Twin Cities, "Theater review: “SIX” is history and music served up with good humor and plenty of sass," 4 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Carey passes eight chart cornerstones that have reigned on the Hot 100 in three decades each. Gary Trust, Billboard, "Mariah Carey Becomes First Artist at No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100 in Four Decades, Thanks to 'All I Want for Christmas'," 30 Dec. 2019 That memory fades quickly the more one moves from the old front lines to European cities, where peace and prosperity has reigned for the best part of a century. Author: Raf Casert, Anchorage Daily News, "75 years on, Battle of the Bulge memories bond people," 16 Dec. 2019 Kellogg’s brother built the cereal empire that still reigns today. Julie Hinds,, "These are the 50 most essential movies set in Michigan," 12 Dec. 2019 Cell Block 7, just one piece of a sprawling complex that once reigned as the world’s largest walled prison, was decommissioned in 2007. Lori Rackl,, "Time’s up: Cell Block 7, a museum within a Michigan prison complex, will close at the end of the year," 20 Nov. 2019 Some may come as no surprise, but others may shock you so keep scrolling to find out which artist reigned supreme over the past decade! Sydney Bucksbaum,, "Top 10 highest performing U.S. artists of the decade on Vevo revealed," 21 Oct. 2019 The piece is now standing at the point where the soaring aluminum tubes and stainless-steel wires of Kenneth Snelson’s Needle Tower long reigned. Roger Catlin, Smithsonian, "Lee Ufan’s Transformative Sculptures Are in Dialogue With the Spaces They Inhabit," 3 Oct. 2019 The ground game reigned supreme for Goode's Bengals, as senior Jalen Edwards rushed for 203 yards and Gary Merrill added 104. Matt Goul,, "Perry QB Drew Schiano ties OHSAA state touchdown record: Week 1 quick hits," 1 Sep. 2019 Teams from Miami-Dade County, where public schools such as Miami Carol City, Miami Central and Miami Booker T. Washington have traditionally reigned, have also blocked some Broward teams’ title aspirations. Adam Lichtenstein,, "Can Deerfield Beach win a state title and lead a public-school renaissance?," 22 Aug. 2019

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

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reign.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 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

Comments on reign

What made you want to look up reign? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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