dec·​la·​ra·​tion ˌde-klə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce declaration (audio)
: the act of declaring : announcement
: the first pleading in a common-law action
: a statement made by a party to a legal transaction usually not under oath
: something that is declared
a declaration of love
: a document containing such a declaration

Example Sentences

The government has made a declaration of war on its enemies. The case was ended by declaration of a mistrial. You will need to make a declaration of your income.
Recent Examples on the Web Three hotels or motels within the town accepted the offer from New York City, per the report, prompting the emergency declaration. Jack Birle, Washington Examiner, 17 May 2023 Although the federal government has now lifted its COVID-19 Public Health Emergency declaration, the pandemic is still influencing the U.S. economy. Adam Rose, The Conversation, 16 May 2023 Emergency declarations for mpox also recently ended. Deidre Mcphillips, CNN, 15 May 2023 No declaration of war had been received by the neutral Dutch government; the Germans simply started bombing, paratroopers following immediately after the aerial bombardment. Smithsonian Magazine, 15 May 2023 But Washington hopes the two sides’ willingness to sign Friday’s declaration will build momentum. Reuters, NBC News, 12 May 2023 That came five months after a similar declaration in December, when monthly border encounters reached a record. Sarah Matusek, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 May 2023 Some nations have already made their own declarations about covid. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, 5 May 2023 Lopez, 53, playfully rolled her eyes about her mom’s declaration, but spoke effusively about Affleck in her sit-down with Hoda Kotb. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, 5 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'declaration.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of declaration was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near declaration

Cite this Entry

“Declaration.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


dec·​la·​ra·​tion ˌdek-lə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce declaration (audio)
: the act of declaring : announcement
: something declared or a document containing such a declaration
the Declaration of Independence

Legal Definition


: the act of declaring
declaration of dividends
declaration of war
: the first pleading in a common-law action compare complaint, indictment
: a statement usually not under oath made by a party to a legal transaction
the attorney must later sign an affidavit or declaration stating that he has informed the debtorJ. H. Williamson
: a statement not under oath being offered as evidence
declaration against interest
: a statement made by someone unavailable as a witness that is against that person's own interests (as pecuniary or property interests) or may subject that person to liability compare admission, confession, self-incrimination

Note: A declaration against interest is an exception to the hearsay rule. If it is offered in a criminal case and tends to expose the declarant to criminal liability it is not admissible unless supported by corroborating circumstances that clearly indicate the trustworthiness of the statement.

dying declaration
: a statement that is made by a person who firmly believes that he or she is about to die and has no hope of recovery and that concerns the circumstances or cause of the presumed death compare excited utterance, res gestae

Note: Dying declarations are an exception to the hearsay rule and can be admitted as evidence only if the declarant is unavailable as a witness.

self-serving declaration
: a statement made out of court that is in the declarant's own interest
spontaneous declaration \ spän-​ˈtā-​nē-​əs-​ \
: an excited utterance that is made without time for fabrication

called also spontaneous exclamation, spontaneous utterance

compare res gestae

Note: Spontaneous declarations are exceptions to the hearsay rule under the excited utterance exception.

: something that is declared: as
: a statement proclaiming the principles, aims, or policies of a group or government
declaration of rights
compare constitution, proclamation
: a statement of the value of property that is subject to a tax (as a duty)
also : a statement of the amount of tax estimated to be due (as on property or income) see also estimated tax compare return
: a statement of information (as year, make, and model) regarding the subject (as a car) and coverage of an insurance policy
: a statement creating or giving notice of the creation of a legal entity, relationship, or status
also : the instrument embodying such a statement
declaration of condominium
: a declaration of the creation of a condominium that includes a description of the common and individual interests and obligations compare master deed at deed
declaration of homestead
: a declaration by a qualified property owner by which the protection of a homestead exemption is effectuated
declaration of trust
: a declaration by one holding or taking title to property in which he or she acknowledges that the property is held in trust for another
: declaratory judgment at judgment 1a

More from Merriam-Webster on declaration

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