Definition of proceed in English:

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Pronunciation: /prəˈsiːd/


[no object]
1Begin a course of action: the consortium could proceed with the plan
More example sentences
  • She also said that the ambitions of hundreds of school leavers had been thrown into disarray by the Government's decision not to proceed with the courses in September.
  • We were able to, of course, proceed with our work by the end of the day.
  • Why would we want to proceed with a course of action that is unjust, unwise and completely unnecessary?
begin, make a start, get going, move, set something in motion;
take action, act, go on, take steps, take measures, go ahead, make progress, make headway
go ahead, carry on, go on, continue, keep on, get on, get ahead;
pursue, prosecute
1.1 [with infinitive] Do something after something else: opposite the front door was a staircase which I proceeded to climb
More example sentences
  • She bundled up my bedding and proceeded to toss it down the staircase.
  • Then Yaakov proceeds to name the area where this event took place.
  • Kim moved forward and proceeded to do the same thing on her other cheek.
1.2(Of an action) carry on or continue: my studies are proceeding well
More example sentences
  • I know the joint work between the Polish command and the Bulgarian contingent has been proceeding very well.
  • But he denied reports on Chad's latest threat, saying bilateral co-operation continued to proceed.
  • There will be further opportunities to view the house as dismantling continues and reconstruction proceeds at the new site.
1.3 Law Start a lawsuit against someone: he may still be able to proceed against the contractor under negligence rules
More example sentences
  • Meanwhile, the lawsuit will proceed against the state and other individual counties with the trial set for Aug.26.
  • This high-stakes lawsuit is now proceeding in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, before Judge John Bates.
  • Do you say you can proceed against Aboriginal native title claimants for trespass if they happen to wander across any part of your tenement?
take to court, start proceedings against, take proceedings against, begin an action against, start an action against, sue
2 [no object, with adverbial of direction] Move forward: from the High Street, proceed over Magdalen Bridge
More example sentences
  • Fans of classic film move forward: Others should proceed cautiously.
  • She had no inkling of how to proceed, but quickly moved forward and sat down by the fire.
  • If you do, the bike proceeds forward: if you don't, it stops, you fall off, and you may hurt yourself.
go, make one's way, advance, move, move forward, move along, progress, carry on, press on, push on
2.1British dated Advance to a higher rank, status, or education: he did not proceed to university in his seventeenth year
More example sentences
  • More middle-class than working-class children, for example, stay at school beyond the school-leaving age, and proceed to higher education.
  • At all levels, students are encouraged, cajoled, and coaxed by teachers and parents to excel in their studies so that they can proceed to the next educational level.
  • Pass certificates are needed to proceed to the next level of education.
3Originate from: his claim that all power proceeded from God
More example sentences
  • But, to Toulmin, this act of homage proceeded from a delusion.
  • All proceeded from a premise that equated modernization with Westernization.
  • That other machine may, in like manner, have proceeded from a former machine: nor does that alter the case; the contrivance must have had a contriver.
originate, have its origin, spring, stem, come, derive, arise, issue, flow, emanate, descend, result, follow, ensue, begin, emerge, start


Late Middle English: from Old French proceder, from Latin procedere, from pro- 'forward' + cedere 'go'.

  • cede from early 16th century:

    Cede is from French céder or Latin cedere ‘to yield, give way, go’. Cedere is a rich source of English words including abscess (mid 16th century) ‘going away’ (of the infection when it bursts); access [Middle English] ‘go to’; ancestor (Middle English) someone who went ante ‘before’; antecedent (Late Middle English) from the same base as ancestor; cease (Middle English); concede (Late Middle English) to give way completely; decease (Middle English) ‘go away’; exceed (Late Middle English) to go beyond a boundary; intercede (late 16th century) go between; predecessor (Late Middle English) one who went away before; proceed (Late Middle English) to go forward; recede (Late Middle English) ‘go back’; and succeed (Late Middle English) ‘come close after’.

Words that rhyme with proceed

accede, bead, Bede, bleed, breed, cede, concede, creed, deed, Eid, exceed, feed, Gide, God speed, greed, he'd, heed, impede, interbreed, intercede, Jamshid, knead, lead, mead, Mede, meed, misdeed, mislead, misread, need, plead, read, rede, reed, Reid, retrocede, screed, secede, seed, she'd, speed, stampede, steed, succeed, supersede, Swede, tweed, weak-kneed, we'd, weed

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pro|ceed

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