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[prez-i-duh nt] /ˈprɛz ɪ dənt/
(often initial capital letter) the highest executive officer of a modern republic, as the Chief Executive of the United States.
an officer appointed or elected to preside over an organized body of persons.
the chief officer of a college, university, society, corporation, etc.
a person who presides.
Origin of president
1325-75; Middle English < Latin praesident- (stem of praesidēns), noun use of present participle of praesidēre to preside, govern; see -ent
Can be confused
precedence, precedents, presidents. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for president


(often capital) the chief executive or head of state of a republic, esp of the US
(in the US) the chief executive officer of a company, corporation, etc
a person who presides over an assembly, meeting, etc
the chief executive officer of certain establishments of higher education
Derived Forms
presidential (ˌprɛzɪˈdɛnʃəl) adjective
presidentially, adverb
presidentship, noun
Word Origin
C14: via Old French from Late Latin praesidens ruler; see preside
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 president

late 14c., "appointed governor of a province; chosen leader of a body of persons," from Old French president and directly from Latin praesidentum (nominative praesidens) "president, governor," noun use of present participle of praesidere "to act as head or chief" (see preside).

In Middle English of heads of religious houses, hospitals, colleges and universities. First use for "chief executive officer of a republic" is in U.S. Constitution (1787), from earlier American use for "officer in charge of the Continental Congress" (1774), a sense derived from that of "chosen head of a meeting or group of persons," which is from Middle English. It had been used of chief officers of banks from 1781, of individual colonies since 1608 (originally Virginia) and heads of colleges since mid-15c. Slang shortening prez is recorded from 1883. Fem. form presidentess is attested from 1763.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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