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reign

[reyn] /reɪn/
noun
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)
4.
to possess or exercise sovereign power or authority.
5.
to hold the position and name of sovereign without exercising the ruling power.
6.
to have control, rule, or influence of any kind.
7.
to predominate; be prevalent.
Origin
1225-1275
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
Related forms
interreign, verb (used without object)
nonreigning, adjective
outreign, verb (used with object)
unreigning, adjective
Can be confused
rain, reign, rein.
Synonyms
2. dominion, suzerainty. 4. rule, govern, prevail.
Antonyms
4. obey.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for reign
  • Literary power aside, it enjoyed such a long reign in part because it was ubiquitous.
  • She'd be okay with free reign of the house too, but the cats would probably mutiny.
  • And the possibilities to reign over material nature are limited.
  • Religion was a tool of the smart to reign over the weak.
  • Haddock could reign instead of cod, which would effect the species composition of the entire system.
  • 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.
  • The government is struggling to reign in the value of its currency.
  • They succeed at times in allying themselves with a faction in the board, and a reign of terror follows their enthronement.
  • Injected vaccines reign in part because researchers understand how they work.
British Dictionary definitions for reign

reign

/reɪn/
noun
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
verb (intransitive)
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 note
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
Word Origin
C13: from Old French reigne, from Latin rēgnum kingdom, from rēx king
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for reign
n.

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.

v.

"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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