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 federal government on Friday signed a decree to provide 60,000 across the northeastern states with a monthly stipend, equal to the minimum wage, or $270, starting in November. Washington Post, "Brazil oil spill leaves local fishermen in the lurch," 27 Oct. 2019 Earlier this month the government issued a decree transferring command of two army units directly to King Vajiralongkorn. The Economist, "King Vajiralongkorn dismisses his official mistress," 24 Oct. 2019 Thompson issued a decree revoking Brebeuf's status as a Catholic institution but that has been suspended by the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome, pending a final decision in Brebeuf's appeal. Arika Herron, Indianapolis Star, "Woman says Roncalli fired her for supporting 2 employees fired over same-sex marriages," 10 Oct. 2019 In 1231 Frederick II, the Holy Roman Emperor who ruled over much of Europe, issued a decree requiring schools that trained doctors to hold a human body dissection once every five years. Bahar Gholipour, Scientific American, "Med School without Cadavers?," 1 Oct. 2019 The Obama administration in 2016 issued a controversial decree that schools must accommodate transgender students, including granting access to facilities based on gender identity. Angie Leventis Lourgos, chicagotribune.com, "Palatine District 211 debates unrestricted locker room access for transgender students. Foes call the proposal ‘pure insanity.’," 20 Sep. 2019 Saudi monarch King Salman issued a royal decree outlining the amendments to the country’s laws following a Cabinet decision earlier this week. Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times, "Women in Saudi Arabia allowed to travel independently," 2 Aug. 2019 Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy signed a decree on Wednesday, more than 30 years after a reactor exploded there, announcing plans to make the site and surrounding areas more tourist friendly. Christopher Brito, CBS News, "Ukraine trying to lure more tourists to Chernobyl nuclear site," 11 July 2019 In April, to mark his 100th day in office, Bolsonaro issued a sweeping decree to eliminate more than 50 of Brazil’s participatory councils at the national level. Lindsay Mayka, Vox, "Brazil’s Supreme Court pushed back against an attempt to cancel participatory councils," 8 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But the censors decreed that this entire work of art must be destroyed, including eleven of Arnautoff’s thirteen panels that no one found offensive. Kevin Baker, Harper's magazine, "Whiteout," 28 Oct. 2019 Lycurgus, the founder of the Spartan regime, is said to have decreed that only iron bars would be accepted as currency. Nick Burns, The New Republic, "In Defense of Sparta," 7 Aug. 2019 Add in time for TV and social media, and suddenly devoting even 3% of your week to exercise—about the amount decreed by the federal guidelines—seems like a herculean feat. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "Can Americans Hack Their Way Out of an Aversion to Exercise?," 14 June 2019 And the labor market overhaul Mr. Macron decreed a year ago has done little to lower France’s chronically high unemployment. Stacy Meichtry, WSJ, "France’s Macron, Celebrated Abroad, Faces Isolation at Home," 9 Oct. 2018 The summer of 2016 was a torrid one for that country’s beaches, as many local authorities decreed bans on the burkini, a full-body swimsuit favoured by some Muslim women. Erasmus, The Economist, "Western governments are telling Muslim women not to cover up," 10 July 2019 One witness called by the prosecution because of his many conversations with Manson attributed to Manson an amoral philosophy decreeing that there is no right, no wrong, no good and no bad. Los Angeles Times, "From the Archives: Manson Verdict — All Guilty," 28 July 2019 That’s in part because executives behind the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list made a profound change to the rules this year, decreeing that no previous winner can be No. 1 again—or even be ranked on the list. Kate Krader, Time, "This Spot in France Was Named the Best Restaurant in the World for 2019," 25 June 2019 The majority — as should be expected — are goalkeepers, the one position where conventional wisdom still decrees that permanence is paramount. Rory Smith, New York Times, "See Jack Run: 227 Premier League Miles, One Deliberate Step at a Time," 30 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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Time Traveler for decree

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for decree

Last Updated

14 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Decree.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/decreed. Accessed 21 November 2019.

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More Definitions for decree

decree

noun
How to pronounce decree (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for decree

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with decree

Spanish Central: Translation of decree

Nglish: Translation of decree for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of decree for Arabic Speakers

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