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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 The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.


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. To move, pass, or go forward or onward; to advance; to continue or renew motion begun.
    to proceed on a journey.
  2. To pass from one point, topic, or stage, to another.
    To proceed with a story or argument.
  3. To issue or come forth as from a source or origin; to come from.
    Light proceeds from the sun.
  4. To go on in an orderly or regulated manner; to begin and carry on a series of acts or measures; to act by method; to prosecute a design.
    • John Locke
      he that proceeds upon other Principles in his Enquiry
  5. To be transacted; to take place; to occur.
    • Shakespeare
      He will, after his sour fashion, tell you / What hath proceeded worthy note to-day.
  6. To have application or effect; to operate.
    • Ayliffe
      This rule only proceeds and takes place when a person can not of common law condemn another by his sentence.
  7. To begin and carry on a legal process.

Usage notes[edit]

  • 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[edit]


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See also[edit]