the period during which a sovereign occupies the throne.
royal rule or authority; sovereignty.
dominating power or influence: the reign of law.
verb (used without object)
to possess or exercise sovereign power or authority.
to hold the position and name of sovereign without exercising the ruling power.
to have control, rule, or influence of any kind.
to predominate; be prevalent.

1225–75; (noun) Middle English reine, regne < Old French reigne < Latin rēgnum realm, reign, derivative of rēg- (stem of rēx) king; (v.) Middle English reinen, regnen < Old French reignier < Latin rēgnāre, derivative of rēgnum

interreign, verb (used without object)
nonreigning, adjective
outreign, verb (used with object)
unreigning, adjective

rain, reign, rein.

2. dominion, suzerainty. 4. rule, govern, prevail.

4. obey. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
reign (reɪn)
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 powerful: the reign of violence is over
3.  to exercise the power and authority of a sovereign
4.  to be accorded the rank and title of a sovereign without having ruling authority, as in a constitutional monarchy
5.  to predominate; prevail: a land where darkness reigns
6.  (usually present participle) to be the most recent winner of a competition, contest, etc: the reigning heavyweight champion
usage  Reign is sometimes wrongly written for rein in certain phrases: he gave full rein (not reign) to his feelings; it will be necessary to rein in (not reign in) public spending

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

early 13c., "kingdom," from O.Fr. reigne, from L. regnum "kingship, dominion, rule, realm," related to regere (see regal). Meaning "period of rule" first recorded mid-14c. The verb, meaning "to hold or exercise sovereign power," is attested from late 13c., from O.Fr. regner,
from L. regnare, from regnum.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Literary power aside, it enjoyed such a long reign in part because it was
She'd be okay with free reign of the house too, but the cats would probably
It is noteworthy that the saints referred to belong either to the period
  preceding the king's reign or to the reign itself.
He also let me have free reign over our family video camera.
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