Definition of preside in English:

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Pronunciation: /prɪˈzʌɪd/


[no object]
1Be in the position of authority in a meeting or other gathering: the prime minister will preside at an emergency cabinet meeting (as adjective presiding) the sentence imposed by the presiding judge
More example sentences
  • Native Tanzanians preside in all positions in major religions.
  • The case will resume on October 7, exactly a year after the home run, with another judge presiding.
  • A High Court judge presides in all Central Criminal Court cases, and High Court judges already sit in Limerick three times a year, but only for civil cases.
chair, take the chair, be chairman/chairwoman/chairperson, officiate (at);
conduct, run, lead, guide, moderate
1.1 (preside over) Be in charge of (a place or situation): Johnson has presided over eight matches since Beck’s dismissal
More example sentences
  • What does Rupert Lowe, the club chairman who presides over this delicate situation, make of it all?
  • The image we see is of an aloof presidency, presiding over dysfunctional government agencies.
  • The World Trade Organisation will preside over a conference of most of the world's countries in Cancun, Mexico, this month.
be in charge of, be responsible for, be accountable for, be at the head/helm of, head, be head of, manage, administer, organize, be in control of, control, direct, lead, run, govern, rule, be boss of, head up, conduct, command, supervise, superintend, oversee, handle
informal be in the driving/driver's seat, be in the saddle, pull the strings, call the shots/tune
2 (preside at) Play (a musical instrument, especially a keyboard instrument) at a public gathering.
Example sentences
  • No longer was there a need for the composer to preside at the keyboard.
  • He will preside at the piano while the baritone Kenneth Holton handles the vocal chores.
  • For many years, David Harris has been like an adopted son around our home and has presided at the piano on many occasions for us.


Early 17th century: from French présider, from Latin praesidere, from prae 'before' + sedere 'sit'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pre|side

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