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 decree (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 outlets — 28 in all - demanded that journalists be granted access to report on conditions in COVID-19 wards, and that medical staff, who are prohibited by ministerial decree from speaking to the media, be permitted to give interviews. Justin Spike, Star Tribune, "Hungarian journalists demand access to COVID wards," 31 Mar. 2021 The flags were still flying at half-staff by presidential decree in honor of the eight victims of the Atlanta-area shooting when tragedy struck Colorado on Monday. NBC News, "Mass shootings offer bleak return to 'normal' in America, Capitol rioters' Trump contributions and a Suez-sized traffic jam," 24 Mar. 2021 That would allow Palestinian lawmakers to propose laws and debate and scrutinize key issues in the council, which has not met in a regular session since 2007, ending Abbas’ ability to rule by decree and without oversight. BostonGlobe.com, "Palestinians and Israelis both vote soon. The differences are stark," 21 Mar. 2021 And many will embrace this newfound freedom, issued by decree, and based on hope. Chris Westfall, Forbes, "Texas, Unmasked: Mask Mandate Removal Presents Massive Leadership Challenge," 11 Mar. 2021 The few Black businesses near the water were forced out by city decree. Los Angeles Times, "Tour Santa Monica’s once-vibrant Black neighborhoods, nearly erased by racism and ‘progress’," 6 Mar. 2021 The Minority Business Development Agency, established by presidential decree in 1969, has limped along with a budget of about $45 million a year, running a network of business assistance centers and commissioning occasional research reports. Lydia Depillis, ProPublica, "Black-Owned Firms Are Less Likely to Receive All of the Financing They Apply for Than Firms With Non-Black Owners," 5 Mar. 2021 Erdogan’s midnight decree was met with outrage by women’s groups and sparked demonstrations later Saturday in Istanbul and other Turkish cities. Washington Post, "Erdogan pulls Turkey out of European treaty aimed at protecting women from violence," 20 Mar. 2021 In October, 2020, the Italian government adopted a decree overturning many of the anti-immigration policies introduced by the previous interior minister ,Matteo Salvini, leader of the right-wing Lega Nord (Northern League). Cecilia Rodriguez, Forbes, "World Press Photo 2021: 22 Outstanding Images Nominees For Photo Of The Year," 10 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Judd plans to move up to 60 attorneys and staff into the building's third floor once state officials decree that general in-person office work can restart. Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, "New office building opens next to Little Caesars Arena," 6 Apr. 2021 Trading in billions of euros of continental shares has migrated across the Channel because the EU has, so far, declined to decree Britain’s financial regulation equivalent to its own. The Economist, "Brexit The cost of Brexit becomes apparent," 13 Mar. 2021 Congress did not decree the March and November daylight saving time slots until 2007. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "Daylight saving time: 7 things to know," 10 Mar. 2021 Still, some health care professionals received their licenses years ago, so local officials may decree a new check due to liability concerns. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Monday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area," 8 Mar. 2021 Mentors in such relationships guide but do not decree. Rajshree Agarwal, Forbes, "How And Why To Mentor In Your Chosen Village," 25 Feb. 2021 Should the league change its own rules, decree USC to be the Pac-12 champion and cancel the league championship game scheduled for Friday? Brent Schrotenboer, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Pac-12 should cancel its conference title game and declare USC the champion," 13 Dec. 2020 The office of Argentina's president will decree three days of national mourning because of Maradona's death on Wednesday, and the Argentine soccer association expressed its sorrow on Twitter. Debora Rey, Chron, "Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona dies at 60," 25 Nov. 2020 Labels must be fixed, or so decree the TV debate shows. Evan Grant, Dallas News, "Kershaw’s Challenge: A World Series champion on the field, Clayton’s true legacy begins with his charitable work off it," 25 Nov. 2020

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 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Decree.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/decree. Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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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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Comments on decree

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