To perform the duties and functions of an office or a position of authority.
To serve as an officiant.
Sports To serve as a referee or umpire.
verb, transitiveUsage Problem
To perform from a position of authority (an official duty or function).
To serve as an officiant at (a ceremony): officiated the wedding ceremony.
To serve as a referee or umpire at (a game): officiated the hockey game.
Origin: Medieval Latin officiāre, officiāt-, to conduct, from Latin officium, service, duty; see Office .
Usage Note: Officiate has long seen use as an intransitive verb, but it has recently developed a transitive use. A vast majority of the Usage Panel (91 percent) approves of the intransitive use of officiate, as in the sentence The wedding was held in the garden, a minister and priest officiating. The Panel views transitive uses much less favorably. The use of officiate in sporting contexts, as in the sentence He officiated National Hockey League games for 15 years is approved by only 38 percent of the Panel. This usage may be unremarkable when appearing on the sports page, but it should be avoided in general writing. Support for this usage in more traditional contexts, such as weddings, plummets further. Only 22 percent of the Panel approves of the sentence A minister officiated the wedding, which was held in a garden.