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

When Jeff Sessions took over as U.S. attorney general, the federal government tried to back out of the decree and the city’s lawyers argued to keep it in force. Ian Duncan, baltimoresun.com, "Before tweets, Baltimore’s relationship with Trump administration included appeals for help, moments of defiance," 30 July 2019 Federal and state authorities already have approved the terms of the decree, city attorney Ron Lewis said at a council briefing on the topic Tuesday morning. Mike Morris, Houston Chronicle, "Approval of $2B consent decree could hike Houston’s water rates as early as next year," 9 July 2019 For example, in 1972, tens of thousands of South Asians were obliged, by presidential decree, to leave Uganda. Richard Vokes, Quartz Africa, "A recently discovered trove of photos shows life in Uganda during Idi Amin’s troubled reign," 30 June 2019 The legality of those decrees is dubious when used to circumvent lawmakers, meaning the court will likely be called upon to referee disputes. Jeffrey T. Lewis, WSJ, "Bolsonaro’s Conservative Agenda Is Tested in Brazilian Supreme Court," 23 June 2019 This was what caused James to prorogue Parliament and rule by royal decree. James P. Sutton, National Review, "In Defense of the Glorious Revolution," 19 July 2019 For example, in 1972, tens of thousands of South Asians were obliged, by presidential decree, to leave Uganda. Richard Vokes, Quartz Africa, "A recently discovered trove of photos shows life in Uganda during Idi Amin’s troubled reign," 30 June 2019 For example, in 1972, tens of thousands of South Asians were obliged, by presidential decree, to leave Uganda. Richard Vokes, The Conversation, "Thousands of recently discovered photographs document life in Uganda during Idi Amin’s reign," 25 June 2019 Archbishop Charles Thompson’s decree, dated June 21, means that Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis will no longer be recognized as a Catholic institution within the archdiocese. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Jesuit high school refuses to fire gay teacher, can no longer call itself Catholic," 21 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Three months later, in June 2011, King Abdullah decreed that lingerie shops would only be staffed by women. Adam Rasmi, Quartz at Work, "A record number of Saudi women have joined the workforce," 30 July 2019 After the murders in Imlil, authorities decreed that any foreigners who wanted to walk the Toubkal path would have to enlist a guide, even for short day hikes. Rachel Monroe, Outside Online, "Last winter, Moroccan officials found two hikers dead on the trail to the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains. The international investigation that followed revealed the fragility of the adventure travel economy, as well as what happens when a small tourist hub is suddenly made strange by violence.," 29 July 2019 Furthermore, among straight men, the man box decrees that hypermasculine men are dominant over men who reject or find themselves outside the box. Savvy Psychologist Ellen Hendriksen, Scientific American, "How to Fight Toxic Masculinity," 26 July 2019 In 2017 King Salman decreed that women could seek government services, such as education and health care, without a man’s consent. The Economist, "Saudi Arabia weighs loosening more controls on women," 18 July 2019 The Trump administration decreed sweeping changes to U.S. asylum policies Monday, in a move aimed at curtailing the soaring number of Central Americans who have arrived across the southern border seeking refuge. Nick Miroff, Washington Post, "Trump administration moves to restrict asylum access, aiming to curb Central American migration," 15 July 2019 Further consequences could follow if Pardue was found guilty of similar conduct within five years, the ruling decreed. Amy Kaufman, latimes.com, "SAG finds Kip Pardue guilty of serious misconduct. What repercussions will he face?," 7 July 2019 This does not deter Miss Manners, who decrees that the placement depends upon the company — not the guests, in this case, but the other utensils being used. Judith Martin, The Mercury News, "Miss Manners: Is 7 too young for a girl to wear diamonds?," 10 July 2019 This does not deter Miss Manners, who decrees that the placement depends upon the company — not the guests, in this case, but the other utensils being used. Judith Martin, Washington Post, "Miss Manners: Even sporks need proper placement," 10 July 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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Statistics for decree

Last Updated

22 Aug 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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