(1)   The office of the United States head of state
"A President is elected every four years"
(2)   The chief executive of a republic
(3)   The person who holds the office of head of state of the United States government
"The President likes to jog every morning"
(4)   An executive officer of a firm or corporation
(5)   The head administrative officer of a college or university
(6)   The officer who presides at the meetings of an organization
"Address your remarks to the chairperson"


From Latin praesidens (accusative: praesidentem), meaning 'president, leader'. The Latin word is the substantivized present participle of the verb praesideo (infinitive: praesidere). The verb is composed from prae 'before' and sedere 'sit'. The original meaning of the verb is 'to sit before' in the sense of presiding at a meeting. A secondary meaning of the verb is 'to command, to govern'. So praesidens means 'the presiding one on a meeting' or 'governor, commander'.


  1. The head of state of a republic, a representative democracy and sometimes (in cases of constitutional violations) a dictatorship.
  2. The primary leader of a corporation. Not to be confused with CEO, which is a related but separate position that is sometimes held by a different person.