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 One of his sons, Eduardo, a congressman, recently said that if left-wing protests spread to Brazil and got out of hand, the government could issue a decree like one that shut down congress during the dictatorship. The Economist, "Jair Bolsonaro’s contentious first year in office," 4 Jan. 2020 In a tangible sign of change, Francis issued a new decree Saturday limiting the term of the dean of the College of Cardinals, an influential job that had previously been held for life. Washington Post, "Pope denounces ‘rigidity’ as he warns of Christian decline," 21 Dec. 2019 Those can be created by a presidential decree, not an act of Congress. Roger Naylor, azcentral, "10 surprising things about Arizona that you probably don't know," 12 Dec. 2019 The government denies the forest fires were caused by the decree, saying farmers have cleared land with burns for years and most are still done illegally. Paola Flores, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Evo Morales not trending among Bolivia’s youth ahead of vote," 7 Oct. 2019 Princess Reema bint Bandar was appointed as U.S. ambassador by royal decree, the official Saudi Press Agency reported late Saturday. Jared Malsin, WSJ, "Saudi Arabia Names Princess as New U.S. Ambassador," 24 Feb. 2019 By decree, in February President Michel Temer put the military in charge of security in the state of Rio. Beatrice Christofaro, The Seattle Times, "12 dead, including 1 solder, in shootouts in Rio de Janeiro," 20 Aug. 2018 By decree, in February President Michel Temer put the military in charge of security in the state of Rio. Beatrice Christofaro, Fox News, "12 dead, including 1 solder, in shootouts in Rio de Janeiro," 20 Aug. 2018 But when citizens demand new rights, instead of waiting patiently to be granted them by royal decree, they are often locked up. The Economist, "The calculations of Muhammad bin Salman," 7 June 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But now the relevant U.S. government agencies have decreed that everyone must use the international foot. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 19 Dec. 2019 In 2017, India's Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling, decreeing that a right to privacy is part of the fundamental rights enshrined in the country's constitution. Julie Zaugg, CNN, "India is trying to build the world's biggest facial recognition system," 17 Oct. 2019 But, just a couple of weeks into the impeachment inquiry, Trump has gone further, refusing to participate at all and simply decreeing that the process is illegitimate. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, "Republicans Trash Trump on Syria—but Not Ukraine," 10 Oct. 2019 In another change to church law this year, Francis decreed that victims cannot be silenced, and have the right to learn the outcomes of their cases. Nicole Winfield, Anchorage Daily News, "Vatican office struggles to keep up with rise in clergy abuse cases," 21 Dec. 2019 The change decreed by President Donald Trump will revoke waivers issued to nearly half of Ohio’s counties that allow able-bodied adults without dependents, and those ages 18 through 49, to receive food stamps without working. Randy Ludlow, Cincinnati.com, "45,000 Ohioans stand to lose food stamps unless they get jobs or go to school," 6 Dec. 2019 In 2014 a new constitution safeguarded the rights detailed in the Personal Status Code and decreed that men and women were equal. Rania Abouzeid, National Geographic, "Around the world, women are taking charge of their future," 15 Oct. 2019 English law decrees that the author of a letter retains ownership of its content, regardless of who possesses the piece of paper. The Economist, "Prince Harry accuses the press of hounding Meghan as it did Diana," 3 Oct. 2019 The legal dispute was principally about whether or not the Alaska Legislature may decree a spending plan multiple years in advance. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Superior Court judge sides with lawmakers in education funding lawsuit against Gov. Dunleavy," 8 Nov. 2019

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

10 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Decree.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/decreeing. Accessed 20 January 2020.

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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

Comments on decree

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