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proceed definition


This page has 8 definitions of proceed in English. Proceed is a verb. Examples of how to use proceed in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .


Alternative forms


From Middle English proceden, from Old French proceder, from Latin prōcēdō (I go forth, go forward, advance), from prō (forth) + cēdō (I go); see cede.



proceed (third-person singular simple present proceeds, present participle proceeding, simple past and past participle proceeded)

  1. (intransitive) To move, pass, or go forward or onward; to advance; to carry on
    to proceed on a journey
    • 1944 July and August, “Top Link Drivers: XXI—Driver H. Blunt, L.N.E.R.”, in Railway Magazine, page 226:
      Having completed their task, Fireman Page telephoned from a lineside box to the next signal cabin, briefly reported the incident and said that, as no high explosive had dropped and the track was safe, they proposed proceeding "at caution".
    • 1960 December, “Talking of Trains: The railways and the Devon floods”, in Trains Illustrated, page 709:
      [...] and on the Saturday heavy seas pounded the W.R. on its exposed coastal stretch between Dawlish and Teignmouth, loosening the ballast and forcing trains to proceed with extreme caution.
  2. (intransitive) To pass from one point, topic, or stage, to another.
    to proceed with a story or argument
    • 1948, Bernward H. Willeke, Imperial Government and Catholic Missions in China During the Years 1784-1785[1], St. Bonaventure, New York: Franciscan Institute, →OCLC, →OL, page 31:
      There the missionaries learned that they were to stay for a longer period, and they were lodged in a shed surrounded by rice fields. This was different from what they had expected, because they had been told in Canton that Father Ts’ai had arranged for a place in Hsiang-t’an. They therefore wished to proceed to Hsiang-t’an, but since that was impossible under the circumstances, they asked Liu Shêng-tuan to be their messenger to Father Liu asking him to come to them.
  3. (intransitive) To come from; to have as its source or origin.
    Light proceeds from the sun.
  4. (intransitive) To go on in an orderly or regulated manner; to begin and carry on a series of acts or measures; to act methodically
  5. (intransitive) To be transacted; to take place; to occur.
  6. (intransitive, of a rule) To be applicable or effective; to be valid.
    • 1726, John Ayliffe, Parergon juris canonici Anglicani:
      [This rule] only proceeds and takes place, when a person cannot of common Right condemn or bind another by his Sentence.
  7. (law, intransitive) To begin and carry on a legal process.
    • 2005, Rodney Stich, Disavow: Sage of Betrayal:
      “Gentlemen, shall we proceed?” the judge said.
      From the beginning, Judge Fong appeared bored at Levine's coaxing remarks.
  8. (intransitive) To take an academic degree.

Usage notes

  • When used as a catenative verb, proceed takes the to infinitive (i.e. one says proceed to swing, not proceed swing). See Appendix:English catenative verbs.
  • Not to be confused with precede.
  • Many of the other English verbs ultimately derived from Latin cēdō are spelled ending in "cede", so the misspelling "procede" is common.



Related terms


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also


Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for “proceed”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.)