deca·​logue | \ ˈde-kə-ˌlȯg How to pronounce decalogue (audio) , -ˌläg \

Definition of decalogue

1 capitalized : ten commandments
2 : a basic set of rules carrying binding authority

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In decalogue the root deca- is combined with logos, Greek for "word". In the Biblical book of Exodus, the original Decalogue, or Ten Commandments, was handed to Moses by God atop Mount Sinai. In Jewish and Christian tradition, the Ten Commandments are regarded as laws handed down from the highest authority and as the foundation of morality. They include commands to honor God, the Sabbath day, and one's parents, and bans on worshiping images, swearing, murder, adultery, theft, lying about others, and envying what others have. Individuals have often had their own personal decalogues; Thomas Jefferson's "ten commandments" started off with "Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today".

Examples of decalogue in a Sentence

the decalogue for scouting known as the Scout Oath
Recent Examples on the Web Freedom from hard collars, from the decalogue, from parental admonitions. John Dos Passos, National Review, "Reminiscences of a Middle-Class Radical," 28 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'decalogue.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of decalogue

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for decalogue

Middle English decaloge, from Late Latin decalogus, from Greek dekalogos, from deka- + logos word — more at legend

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The first known use of decalogue was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Decalogue.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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