pres·i·dent (prĕzĭ-dənt, -dĕnt′)
1. One appointed or elected to preside over an organized body of people, such as an assembly or meeting.
a. The chief executive of a republic.
b. The chief executive officer of the United States, with powers as determined by the US Constitution.
3. The chief officer of a branch of government, corporation, board of trustees, university, or similar body.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin praesidēns, praesident-, from present participle of praesidēre, to preside; see PRESIDE.]
Usage Note: Occupations that are also titles, like president, doctor, and senator are normally capitalized when they precede a proper name but are not capitalized when used as common nouns: the comments of President Obama; the president's news conference.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.