de·​clare di-ˈkler How to pronounce declare (audio)
declared; declaring

transitive verb

: to make known formally, officially, or explicitly
publicly declared her opposition to the plan
: to make known as a determination
The judge declared the defendant fit to stand trial.
She was declared the rightful heir to the throne.
obsolete : to make clear
: to make evident : show
a glimpse of his head in outline … declared his present state of mind Osbert Sitwell
: to state emphatically : affirm
declares his innocence
"You are quite a quiz, I do declare!" Charles Dickens
: to make a full statement of (one's taxable or dutiable property)
Large purchases must be declared at customs.
in card games
: to make a bid or announcement naming (a trump suit or no-trump)
: meld
: to make payable
declare a dividend

intransitive verb

: to make a declaration
poetry … evokes rather than merely declares C. S. Kilby
: to avow one's opinion or support
declaring for or against a candidate
: to announce one's intentions (as to run for political office)
declared for mayor
declarable adjective
Choose the Right Synonym for declare

declare, announce, proclaim, promulgate mean to make known publicly.

declare implies explicitness and usually formality in making known.

the referee declared the contest a draw

announce implies the declaration of something for the first time.

announced their engagement at a party

proclaim implies declaring clearly, forcefully, and authoritatively.

the president proclaimed a national day of mourning

promulgate implies the proclaiming of a dogma, doctrine, or law.

promulgated an edict of religious toleration

synonyms see in addition assert

Example Sentences

The government has just declared a state of emergency. He openly declared his love for her. They failed to declare all of their earnings on their tax return. Large purchases must be declared at customs. Do you have anything to declare?
Recent Examples on the Web The share of pediatric hospital beds that were full nationwide, per NBC News analysis of government data, as the Biden administration sidestepped calls from pediatric groups to declare a RSV public emergency. Ben Kamisar, NBC News, 18 Nov. 2022 Stitt said there were more than 100 businesses and homes destroyed, and his office would issue an executive order to declare an emergency for the counties impacted by the tornado, which include Bryan, Choctaw, and Le Flore counties. Kimberlee Speakman, Peoplemag, 5 Nov. 2022 Unlike her counterpart in Orange County, Wooten did not take the opportunity Thursday to declare the current triple threat situation a public health emergency. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Nov. 2022 The evolving situation moved the Department of Health and Human Services to declare a public health emergency last week. Mary Kekatos, ABC News, 11 Aug. 2022 The emergency declaration that Mr. Becerra issued on Thursday falls under a specific section of federal law that allows the health secretary to declare an emergency that generally lasts for 90 days, but may be extended. New York Times, 4 Aug. 2022 California and Illinois became the latest state governments to declare monkeypox a public health emergency this week. Katie Jennings, Forbes, 3 Aug. 2022 Federal officials are considering whether to declare monkeypox a public-health emergency. Dominique Mosbergen, WSJ, 2 Aug. 2022 San Francisco became the first major US city to declare a local health emergency last week, and New York City did so Saturday. Jen Christensen, CNN, 2 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'declare.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French declarer, from Latin declarare, from de- + clarare to make visible, from clarus clear — more at clear

First Known Use

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

Time Traveler
The first known use of declare was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near declare

Cite this Entry

“Declare.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



de·​clare di-ˈkla(ə)r How to pronounce declare (audio)
declared; declaring
: to make known openly or officially
declare war
: to state strongly
declared his innocence
: to make a full statement of (taxable property or items on which duty must be paid)
declarer noun

Legal Definition


transitive verb

declared; declaring
: to make known formally, officially, or explicitly
declaring who shall then act as President U.S. Constitution amend. XX
: to make a full statement of (one's taxable property)
didn't declare some of his income
: to state the value of (one's taxable or dutiable property)
declared the diamond earrings
: to make payable
declare dividends
declarer noun

More from Merriam-Webster on declare

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