[ reyn ]
/ reɪn /


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)

Origin of reign

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

in·ter·reign, verb (used without object)non·reign·ing, adjectiveout·reign, verb (used with object)un·reign·ing, adjective

Can be confused

rain reign rein Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for reign

British Dictionary definitions for reign


/ (reɪn) /


the period during which a monarch is the official ruler of a country
a period during which a person or thing is dominant, influential, or powerfulthe reign of violence is over

verb (intr)

to exercise the power and authority of a sovereign
to be accorded the rank and title of a sovereign without having ruling authority, as in a constitutional monarchy
to predominate; prevaila land where darkness reigns
(usually present participle) to be the most recent winner of a competition, contest, etcthe reigning heavyweight champion

Word Origin for reign

C13: from Old French reigne, from Latin rēgnum kingdom, from rēx king


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 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012