Definition of proceed in English:

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Pronunciation: /prəˈsēd/
Pronunciation: /prōˈsēd/


[no object]
1Begin or continue a course of action: we can proceed with our investigation
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, go ahead, make progress, make headway
go ahead, carry on, go on, continue, keep on, get on, get ahead;
(proceed with) pursue, prosecute
1.1Move forward, especially after reaching a certain point: the ship could proceed to Milwaukee
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, progress, carry on, press on, push on
1.2 [with infinitive] Do something as a natural or seemingly inevitable next step: 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.
1.3 Law Start a lawsuit against someone: he may still be able to proceed against the contractor under the common law 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 someone to court, start/take proceedings against, start an action against, make a case against, sue
1.4(Of an action) be started: negotiations must proceed without delay
More example sentences
  • If these provided a satisfactory outcome, open and official negotiations could then proceed involving elected representatives.
  • The legitimate search for assertive and disruptive methods can and should proceed, but this must not be confused with vandalism and violence.
  • If this legislation is to proceed it must be enacted before the new fishing season, 1 October 2004.
1.5(Of an action) be carried on or continued: as the excavation proceeds, the visible layers can be recorded and studied
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.
1.6Originate 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, spring, stem, come, derive, arise, issue, flow, emanate


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

Syllabification: pro·ceed

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