Definition of regnant in US English:



  • 1often postpositive Reigning; ruling.

    ‘a queen regnant’
    • ‘Because they inherited the royal office and performed the office of king, the term female king is perhaps more descriptive of the actual political role regnant queens performed.’
    • ‘Even Louis XIV was careful to take advice on all important decisions, and men born to be king (for queens regnant were prohibited by French law) were carefully taught that counsel was of the essence of their sovereign authority.’
    • ‘In the long and rich history of the lands we now know as Spain, it comes as some surprise that only four women have ever reigned as queen regnant.’
    • ‘The rise of the Habsburgs was no less important during the first half of the century, and the presence of two queens regnant on one island together with the long minority of James VI was a major shaping force in the second.’
    • ‘Unlike her mother, she may never have truly ruled as queen regnant, but Joan's reign did have important ramifications for Spain.’
    • ‘After all, a queen regnant sits on the throne and the monarchy must be feeling pressure from its seemingly more progressive neighbors.’
    • ‘Crown Princess of Norway Mette-Marit also has a son, Marius, from a previous relationship, so Princess Ingrid is in the very unusual position of being a future queen regnant with an older brother, and maybe a younger brother soon.’
    reigning, sovereign, on the throne
    main, chief, principal, major, prime, most important, dominating, foremost
    View synonyms
  • 2formal Currently having the greatest influence; dominant.

    ‘the regnant belief’
    • ‘We should not rake the current religious bias regnant in America today as necessarily universal for all cultures.’
    • ‘Universities, in their unique way, should be radical institutions - radical in their expectation that ideas that call regnant views into question will be reflected on and debated seriously.’
    • ‘Still, for nearly a decade, an anti-authoritarian style was regnant within American liberalism.’
    • ‘Quite right too, but does anyone ever pause to ask when this manner of politics became regnant?’
    • ‘This inaccessibility is fertile ground for the generation of psychomyths, as illustrated by the history of psychology as well as today's regnant cognitive psychology.’


Early 17th century: from Latin regnant- ‘reigning’, from the verb regnare.