decree

noun
de·​cree | \ di-ˈkrē How to pronounce decree (audio) \

Definition of decree

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an order usually having the force of law a judicial decree by royal decree
2a : a religious ordinance enacted by council or titular head a papal decree
b : a foreordaining will God's decree
3a : a judicial decision of the Roman emperor
b : a judicial decision especially in an equity (see equity sense 3a) court or probate court

decree

verb
decreed; decreeing

Definition of decree (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to command or enjoin by or as if by decree decree an amnesty
2 : to determine or order judicially decree a punishment

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Other Words from decree

Verb

decreer \ -​ˈkrē-​ər How to pronounce decreer (audio) \ noun

Examples of decree in a Sentence

Noun

The President issued a decree making the day a national holiday. Their marriage was annulled by judicial decree.

Verb

The government decreed a national holiday. The change was decreed by the President. The City Council has decreed that all dogs must be kept on a leash.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That will run up against a longstanding federal court decree that prohibits the government from holding children in detention for long periods — generally around 20 days. Adam Edelman /, NBC News, "Trump says he'll sign order stopping separation of families at border," 20 June 2018 With little doubt about the outcome, the Kremlin Friday announced that Putin had already ordered his staff to draft policy decrees covering the next term. Henry Meyer, Bloomberg.com, "Russians Vote on New Putin Term as Tensions Flare With West," 17 Mar. 2018 When men object, women can and do cite royal decrees affirming their rights to work and drive without a male guardian’s consent. Karen Elliott House, WSJ, "Where Is Crown Prince Mohammed?," 11 Feb. 2019 The decree was passed when Middleton was pregnant with her second child, People reports, and affects royal family members born after October 28, 2011. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "The New Royal Baby Is a Boy and That's a Big Deal for Princess Charlotte," 23 Apr. 2018 Monday’s decree by President Donald Trump went into effect at 12:25 p.m. Monday. Jim Wyss, miamiherald, "Washington aims at Venezuela’s crypto-currency in new round of sanctions | Miami Herald," 19 Mar. 2018 The decree retracted Burundi’s participation in the Rome Statute, on which the court’s authority is founded. Conor Gaffey, Newsweek, "After Burundi, Which Other African States Could Abandon the ICC?," 19 Oct. 2016 One of Tuesday’s presidential decrees, which takes effect immediately but has to be approved by Congress to become permanent, gives the Agriculture Ministry the right to designate lands reserved for Brazil’s indigenous population. Jeffrey T. Lewis, WSJ, "Brazil’s New Conservative Leader Moves to Revamp Economy," 2 Jan. 2019 Trump likes celebrities and executive decrees of all stripes. Jessica Chou, Glamour, "Shawn Holley Will Free You Now," 11 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Just days ago, a French court decreed the film could, indeed, be screened, despite a rights dispute brought by a producer claiming ownership. Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY, "Adam Driver can't avoid Star Wars in Cannes as he promotes 'BlacKkKlansman,' 'Don Quixote'," 16 May 2018 Then-French Prime Minister François Fillon decreed in 2011 that women were banned from wearing face veils outside of the home except in mosques or as car passengers. Jesse J. Holland And Russell Contreras, chicagotribune.com, "Trump draws fierce criticism for saying immigration is 'changing the culture' of Europe for worse," 14 July 2018 In December 2016 Venezuela’s president, Nicolás Maduro, decreed that the 100-bolívar note, then the largest in circulation, would cease to be legal tender within three days. The Economist, "Venezuelan cash is almost worthless, but also scarce," 12 July 2018 The government decreed later that year that ships carrying car imports bound for Colombo port would instead offload their cargo at Hambantota to kick-start business there. Maria Abi-habib, New York Times, "How China Got Sri Lanka to Cough Up a Port," 25 June 2018 In the 1940s, King Mohammed V built his summer palace along the water, decreeing Morocco’s first royal beach. Lane Nieset, Vogue, "After Marrakech, Go to Oualidia, the Montauk of Morocco," 30 Jan. 2019 Unlike state agencies and local governments, the Legislature has its own public records law — enacted in 1975 — that casts a wide net in decreeing that most internal records can be kept confidential. John Myers, latimes.com, "California legislative investigation finds Assemblyman Devon Mathis violated sexual harassment policy," 11 July 2018 Breaking the unspoken rules of royal tradition, which decree non-distracting polish shades as mandatory, the Duchess of Sussex revealed a dark purple pedicure for a performance of Cirque du Soleil's Totem show. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Meghan Markle’s Royal Quick Change Is a Lesson in Date Night Beauty," 16 Jan. 2019 There, too, Congress had decreed new standards using better design and technology in new vehicles, such as rearview cameras, to protect people, especially children, from being run over when the vehicles are backing up. Fredrick Kunkle, Washington Post, "The U.S. needs to move forward on rear-seat safety belts," 20 Mar. 2018

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

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First Known Use of decree

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for decree

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French decré, from Latin decretum, from neuter of decretus, past participle of decernere to decide, from de- + cernere to sift, decide — more at certain

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Statistics for decree

Last Updated

21 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for decree

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

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More Definitions for decree

decree

noun

English Language Learners Definition of decree

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an official order given by a person with power or by a government
: an official decision made by a court of law

decree

verb

English Language Learners Definition of decree (Entry 2 of 2)

: to order or decide (something) in an official way

decree

noun
de·​cree | \ di-ˈkrē How to pronounce decree (audio) \

Kids Definition of decree

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an order or decision given by a person or group in authority

decree

verb
decreed; decreeing

Kids Definition of decree (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give an order as an authority Mom decreed that it was bedtime.

decree

noun
de·​cree | \ di-ˈkrē How to pronounce decree (audio) \

Legal Definition of decree

1 : an order having the force of law by judicial decree
2 : a judicial decision especially in an equity or probate court broadly : judgment divorce decree interlocutory decree
consent decree
: a decree entered by a court that is determined by the parties' agreement : a settlement between the parties that is subject to judicial approval and supervision specifically : such a decree by which the accused agrees to cease alleged illegal activities without admitting guilt
decree nisi decrees nisi
: a provisional decree that will become final unless cause is shown why it should not

Note: Some states grant divorces using decrees nisi. The decree nisi creates a time period (as of 3 months) allowing for possible reconciliation or for completion of various arrangements (as custody).

decree pro confesso
: a decree entered by a court based on a defendant's default and the presumption that the allegations are confessed — compare default judgment at judgment sense 1a
final decree
: a decree that disposes of an action by determining all matters in dispute including especially the parties' rights — compare final judgment at judgment sense 1a
interlocutory decree
: a decree that is made during the course of an action and that does not settle all matters in dispute

Other Words from decree

decree verb

History and Etymology for decree

Old French decré, from Latin decretum, from neuter of decretus, past participle of decernere to decide

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More from Merriam-Webster on decree

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with decree

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for decree

Spanish Central: Translation of decree

Nglish: Translation of decree for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of decree for Arabic Speakers

Comments on decree

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