AskDefine | Define reign

Dictionary Definition



1 a period during which something or somebody is dominant or powerful; "he was helpless under the reign of his egotism"
2 the period during which a monarch is sovereign; "during the reign of Henry VIII"
3 royal authority; the dominion of a monarch [syn: sovereignty]


1 have sovereign power; "Henry VIII reigned for a long time"
2 be larger in number, quantity, power, status or importance; "Money reigns supreme here"; "Hispanics predominate in this neighborhood" [syn: predominate, dominate, rule, prevail]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. The exercise of sovereign power.
    England prosperred under Elizabeth's reign.
  2. The period during which a monarch rules.
    The reign of Victoria was a long one.

Derived terms


The exercise of sovereign power
The period during which a monarch rules


  1. To exercise sovereign power, or to rule as a monarch
    He reigned in an autocratic manner.


exercise sovereign power

Extensive Definition

A reign is a period of time a person serves as a monarch or pope. No time limit exists on reigns, nor is there a term of office. Thus a reign usually lasts for the remainder of the monarch's life, unless the monarchy itself is abolished or the monarch abdicates.
The term of a reign can be indicated with the abbreviation "r." after a sovereign's name, such as the following:


A reign can be ended in three ways:


Abolitions of Monarchies

King Constantine II of Greece reigned from 1963 until the abolition of the Greek monarchy in 1973.
King Humbert II of Italy reigned for only a few weeks in 1946 before the abolition of the Italian Monarchy.
reign in Simple English: Reign

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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