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 \ di-​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

The Obama administration had used such decrees aggressively in response to concerns about police shootings and alleged misconduct, and civil rights advocates feared that their abandonment in the Trump administration would stifle reforms. Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post, "Barr promised to convene civil rights leaders to discuss police reform efforts. It didn’t go quite as planned.," 6 June 2019 Those decrees have governed how the two performance rights organizations operate for more than 75 years. Ed Christman, Billboard, "US Dept. of Justice Reviewing ASCAP & BMI Consent Decrees," 5 June 2019 Well, Musk has made bizarre SpaceX decrees before, which have later become reality: The company did launch his Tesla into deep space, after all. Loren Grush, The Verge, "How Elon Musk could recover rockets with balloons — just not the party kind," 18 Apr. 2018 President Jair Bolsonaro said at a decree-signing ceremony here on Tuesday night. Paulo Trevisani, WSJ, "Bolsonaro Further Eases Brazilians’ Access to Guns," 8 May 2019 Hours before his inauguration, Mr. Erdogan dashed off a decree ordering the firing of another 18,000 state employees, most of them members of the police and army, but also teachers and academicians. New York Times, "Erdogan Begins New Term and Names His Son-in-Law Finance Minister," 9 July 2018 Since 2010, Haiti has lost nearly $770,750,000 in revenues by its refusal to abide by a 1995 decree calling for fuel prices to be adjusted with every shipment of fuel in the country. Jacqueline Charles, miamiherald, "Haiti has put a fuel hike on hold. But is it enough to save the prime minister's job?," 7 July 2018 The decree published Wednesday in the Royal Gazette put into effect election laws that were drafted by the military government, which has kept tight control over political activities and made efforts to quash dissent during its time in power. Kaweewit Kaewjinda, The Seattle Times, "Thailand sets date of first general election since coup," 23 Jan. 2019 In February, Queen Elizabeth II issued a rare royal decree banning plastic straws and bottles from all royal estates (and their cafes and gift shops) and pledged to reduce using other single-use plastics at all royal functions. New York Times, "Bans on Plastic Straws Are Growing. But Is the Travel Industry Doing Enough?," 1 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The School Board decreed 9-0 Wednesday night (June 5) that Theodore Roosevelt Middle School in Kenner will henceforth be the Tom Benson School. Drew Broach, nola.com, "Tom Benson School one of many changes in Jefferson Parish public education this summer," 6 June 2019 If Merkel is really serious about that, her first step would be to reverse the blunder her own government made in March 2011: decreeing the end of nuclear power in Germany by 2022. Charles Lane, Twin Cities, "Charles Lane: If Germany wants to achieve climate neutrality, it needs nuclear power," 5 June 2019 Like other nearby sanctuaries such as Avignon and Cavaillon, Carpentras was not in France, but within the Comtat Venaissin, a papal state, where Pope John XXII decreed that refugees would be welcome. Joan Nathan, New York Times, "A Seder Feast in Provence, With Roots in Ancient Rome," 20 Mar. 2018 According to the 1917 Letter’s Patent decreed by King George V, only grandchildren of the sovereign receive royal titles—not great-grandchildren. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Royal Baby Archie Could Have a Prince Title Someday—But There's a Catch," 8 May 2019 The country’s ruler has decreed that women don’t need their guardian’s approval to get their licenses. Margaret Coker, New York Times, "A Moment to Savor: A Saudi Woman Rejoices as Driving Ban Ends," 23 June 2018 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

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

13 Jun 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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