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dictum

play
noun dic·tum \ˈdik-təm\

Simple Definition of dictum

  • : a statement or well-known remark that expresses an important idea or rule

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of dictum

plural

dicta

play \-tə\ also

dictums

  1. 1 :  a noteworthy statement: as a :  a formal pronouncement of a principle, proposition, or opinion b :  an observation intended or regarded as authoritative

  2. 2 :  a judge's expression of opinion on a point other than the precise issue involved in determining a case

Examples of dictum in a sentence

  1. A doctor must follow the dictum of First, do no harm.



Did You Know?

The word dictum is frequently used in philosophy, but also in economics, political science, and other fields. Almost any condensed piece of wisdom—"The perfect is the enemy of the good", "Buy low, sell high", "All politics is local", etc.—can be called a dictum. In the law, judges may often add to a written opinion an obiter dictum, or "statement made in passing"—a strong statement that isn't directly relevant to the case being decided. If they're well thought out and eloquent, obiter dicta (notice the plural form) may be referred to by later judges and lawyers for years afterward.

Origin and Etymology of dictum

Latin, from neuter of dictus, past participle of dicere


First Known Use: 1599


Law Dictionary

dictum

play
noun dic·tum \ˈdik-təm\

Legal Definition of dictum

plural

dicta

\-tə\ play
  1. :  a view expressed by a judge in an opinion on a point not necessarily arising from or involved in a case or necessary for determining the rights of the parties involved —called also obiter dictum — compare holding, judgment, precedent, stare decisis



Additional Notes on dictum

Dicta have persuasive value in making an argument, but they are not binding as precedent.

Origin and Etymology of dictum

Latin, utterance, from neuter of dictus, past participle of dicere to say



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