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8 Words That Are Older Than You Think

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 reigning
  • The police are being twisted into being tools of the reigning political power.
  • If you think you know one bigger in any species listed, you can nominate it, and perhaps unseat the reigning champ.
  • The one that broke was eaten, while the reigning champion would go on to his next match, until it too broke.
  • Both are radically historicized, which in our time often means: reduced to an expression of the reigning discourses.
  • After all, there was no reigning in this ragtag band.
  • Unexpectedly, the study also helped to challenge the reigning view on the place where dogs first appeared.
  • Jay-Z, rap's long-reigning king, has a new album and the old swagger.
  • Harold's position as the reigning grand high poobah for their suburban block is soon undermined by his neighbors' contempt.
  • Because, of the anarchy reigning in the construction sector, the mountain flanks were soon conquered and shantytowns flourished.
  • In this poll the public rejected some of the reigning shibboleths of the foreign-policy establishment.
British Dictionary definitions for reigning

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 reigning

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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