1. the period during which a sovereign occupies the throne.
  2. royal rule or authority; sovereignty.
  3. dominating power or influence: the reign of law.

verb (used without object)

  1. to possess or exercise sovereign power or authority.
  2. to hold the position and name of sovereign without exercising the ruling power.
  3. to have control, rule, or influence of any kind.
  4. to predominate; be prevalent.


  1. the period during which a monarch is the official ruler of a country
  2. a period during which a person or thing is dominant, influential, or powerfulthe reign of violence is over

verb (intr)

  1. to exercise the power and authority of a sovereign
  2. to be accorded the rank and title of a sovereign without having ruling authority, as in a constitutional monarchy
  3. to predominate; prevaila land where darkness reigns
  4. (usually present participle) to be the most recent winner of a competition, contest, etcthe reigning heavyweight champion

early 13c., “kingdom,” from Old French reigne “kingdom, land, country” (Modern French règne), from Latin regnum “kingship, dominion, rule, realm,” related to regere (see regal). Meaning “period of rule” first recorded mid-14c.


“to hold or exercise sovereign power,” late 13c., from Old French regner “rule, reign” (12c.), from Latin regnare “have royal power, be king, rule, reign,” from regnum (see reign (n.)). Related: Reigned; reigning; regnal.

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