decree

noun
de·​cree | \di-ˈkrē \

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 \ 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

This decree could have been violated following the Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this year or subsequent breaches, like the October incident in which hackers obtained access to over 50 million accounts. Makena Kelly, The Verge, "The FTC’s top consumer protection official can’t go after Facebook — or 100 other companies," 6 Dec. 2018 The city law department is auditing the police department’s overtime as part of a lawsuit and a federal civil rights decree that requires the agency to study its staffing. Luke Broadwater, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore City Council to begin monthly oversight meetings on police overtime spending, crime," 9 July 2018 His use of presidential decrees where parliamentary approval was in doubt -- or likely to slow things down -- has been controversial but effective. Melissa Bell And James Masters, CNN, "A year in, Emmanuel Macron faces 'Le crunch' as honeymoon ends," 7 May 2018 Peter Lumaj has broken Ronald Reagan’s decree not to speak ill of fellow Republicans. Daniela Altimari, courant.com, "Peter Lumaj Breaks Reagan's 11th Commandment With Attack Mailer to Delegates," 1 May 2018 Ten hours after gloating about certain aspects of the Omnibus Spending Bill, Donald Trump took to Twitter, his favorite platform for presidential decrees, Friday morning threatening to veto it. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Why Trump May Now Veto the Spending Bill a Day After Praising It," 23 Mar. 2018 According to King George V’s 1917 decree, only the oldest son of the Prince of Wales’s oldest son (so Prince George) was entitled to be styled His Royal Highness and a Prince. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "What Will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Baby's Title Be?," 15 Oct. 2018 The statement said the decree, signed Thursday, takes effect immediately and that Karadima was informed of it Friday. Nicole Winfield, Fox News, "Pope defrocks Chilean priest at center of abuse scandal," 28 Sep. 2018 In January, Robart found the Police Department in full compliance with the decree, triggering a two-year review period in which the department must show reforms are locked in place. Steve Miletich, The Seattle Times, "Tentative deal: Seattle police officers would receive more than 17% in pay raises in exchange for reforms," 30 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Pope Francis decreed on Tuesday that ordinary Catholics should be consulted about issues facing the Catholic Church and that bishops gathering for periodic meetings can make binding decisions on church teaching. Nicole Winfield, Fox News, "Pope gives bishops more decision-making options," 18 Sep. 2018 The tipping point was when retirees, demonstrating on April 18 against a social-security reform decreed by Mr. Ortega, were roughed up by thugs while police watched. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "Russia in Central America, Again," 8 July 2018 In fact, the Stanley Cup bowl is engraved to this day with the name Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, although the trustees Lord Stanley put in charge of his trophy decreed that it should be known as the Stanley Cup. Eric Zweig, New York Times, "Vegas? D.C.? Lord Stanley Would Be Baffled," 26 May 2018 As Chekhov decreed, if a cruise ship is introduced in act one, half of its passengers must be sick from a gruesome intestinal virus by act five. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: Young and Privileged and Perpetually at Sea," 5 July 2018 The Argentine has been publicly, and far from subtly, decreeing his dissatisfaction with a number of Spurs' systematic inhibitions. SI.com, "Why Pochettino Should Switch Make the Controversial Switch From Spurs to Chelsea This Summer," 17 May 2018 Trying to stay ahead of the curve, both Bird and Blue Duck have proactively decreed Alamo Plaza and the River Walk to be off limits to their scooters. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, "Downtown gets the Bird with fun-to-ride scooters," 5 July 2018 Most notably, while Sessions decreed that his ruling overturned any precedent that contradicted it, USCIS only told asylum officers to stop using the one precedent decision Sessions explicitly named as moot. Dara Lind, Vox, "Exclusive: Trump administration plan would bar people who enter illegally from getting asylum," 29 June 2018 The original script had the two characters kissing — but ABC’s director of standards and practices decreed that a kiss was not to be shown. Yvonne Villarreal, latimes.com, "'Thirtysomething' team reunites to reflect on revolutionary ABC drama," 9 June 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

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

Verb

see decree entry 1

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Statistics for decree

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

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 \

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 \

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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