\ 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 When the state contest was postponed until June 2021, Johnson was allowed to continue her reign for another year. Don Maines, Houston Chronicle, "League City teen tops $15,000 in raising funds to fight child abuse," 6 July 2020 In the glorious second reign of Steve Jobs, roughly 1997 until his death in 2011, companies that wanted to buy Apple devices mostly could go to the damn store and buy them like anyone else. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Riding Apple’s coattails to an IPO," 2 July 2020 For copy-hungry journalists, Palmer's reign soon turned into a global era. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "Aston Smarting: Could Anything Have Changed Andy Palmer's Aston Martin Tenure?," 2 July 2020 The latest season of Slate's Slow Burn podcast charts the rise and reign of David Duke, a white supremacist who became a cultural force in the 1980s and '90s. CNN, "Performative activism, MLK and the BET Awards: A look back at the week in race and culture," 2 July 2020 Cuyahoga County Republican Party Chairman Rob Frost was booted from his seat Tuesday by an insurgent challenger, bringing his 15-year reign as the head of one of Ohio’s largest county Republican parties to an end. cleveland, "Longtime Cuyahoga County GOP chairman booted from seat by Trump delegate," 30 June 2020 In their seven-year reign together (1999-2005) in Indianapolis, the pair led the Colts to 77 wins, six division titles and headlined one of the most prolific offenses in recent memory. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, "Delay of hall of fame induction means Edgerrin James could be enshrined alongside Manning," 25 June 2020 The plot of the new film Wasp Network plays out in 1990s Cuba under the polarising reign of late President Fidel Castro. Ineye Komonibo,, "Every Familiar Face In The Heart-Racing Political Thriller Wasp Network," 19 June 2020 In Jesiah Irish, Anthony Gould and even Champ Flemings, OSU has its fastest group of receivers during coach Jonathan Smith’s three-year reign. oregonlive, "Oregon State 2020 football position preview: Receivers group has improved speed, but does it include the next Isaiah Hodgins?," 23 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The cocktail servers wear masks now, but free drinks still reign on most casino floors 24 hours a day. Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY, "Same old Vegas? Here's what coronavirus has and hasn't changed about Sin City," 7 June 2020 Yet her case may serve to inspire not just ambitious journalists but also the governments seeking to reign them in. James Griffiths, CNN, "Duterte's war on the press in the Philippines could provide a model for Hong Kong and beyond," 15 June 2020 Their scale and influence, and their ability to manipulate public opinion and shape markets, would permit them to reign unimpeded. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "Big Tech’s Pandemic Power Grab," 12 June 2020 While mainland investment banks dominate business on the mainland, Western firms still reign over complex cross-border deals. The Economist, "Hong Kong’s uncertain future Can Hong Kong remain a global financial centre?," 4 June 2020 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

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

9 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reign.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jul. 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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