|—n , pl -cies|
|1.||a. the office, dignity, or term of a president|
|b. (often capital) the office of president of a republic, esp the office of the President of the US|
|a. a local administrative council consisting of a president and two executive members|
|b. (often capital) the supreme administrative body composed of the Prophet and two councillors|
chiefchief executive office of the United States. In contrast to many countries with parliamentary forms of government, where the office of president, or head of state, is mainly ceremonial, in the United States the president is vested with great authority and is arguably the most powerful elected official in the world. The nation's founders originally intended the presidency to be a narrowly restricted institution. They distrusted executive authority because their experience with colonial governors had taught them that executive power was inimical to liberty, because they felt betrayed by the actions of George III, the king of Great Britain and Ireland, and because they considered a strong executive incompatible with the republicanism embraced in the Declaration of Independence (1776). Accordingly, their revolutionary state constitutions provided for only nominal executive branches, and the Articles of Confederation (1781-89), the first "national" constitution, established no executive branch. For coverage of the 2008 election, see United States Presidential Election of 2008.
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