\ ˈē-ˌdikt How to pronounce edict (audio) \

Definition of edict

1 : a proclamation having the force of law
2 : order, command we held firm to Grandmother's edict— M. F. K. Fisher

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Other Words from edict

edictal \ i-​ˈdik-​tᵊl How to pronounce edictal (audio) \ adjective

Did You Know?

Edicts are few and far between in a democracy, since very few important laws can be made by a president or prime minister acting alone. But when a crisis arose in the Roman Republic, the senate would appoint a dictator, who would have the power to rule by edict. The idea was that the dictator could make decisions quickly, issuing his edicts faster than the senate could act. When the crisis was over, the edicts were canceled and the dictator usually retired from public life. Things are different today: dictators almost always install themselves in power, and they never give it up.

Examples of edict in a Sentence

The government issued an edict banning public demonstrations. the school board's edict put a new student dress code into effect

Recent Examples on the Web

Beyond the pope's edict, the bishops will consider creating an independent, third-party reporting system to which allegations of abuse could be filed. David Crary, Houston Chronicle, "Group calls on Cardinal DiNardo to resign amid allegations of mishandling sex abuse case," 10 June 2019 Beyond the pope's edict, the bishops will consider creating an independent, third-party reporting system to which allegations of abuse could be filed. David Crary, baltimoresun.com, "Sex abuse crisis the focus as US Catholic bishops convene in Baltimore," 9 June 2019 Among its criticisms, the Public Advocates Office in San Francisco said the impact of the high usage charge will be blunted as, per CPUC edict, utilities move customers from tiered rates to time-of-use rates, known as TOU for short. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Utilities commission turns back SDG&E, keeps ‘high usage charge’ on bills," 6 June 2019 Gone is the one-price-fits-all edict for tickets, with the school introducing a tiered pricing system after a social media revolt among IU fans a year ago. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: IU, Purdue are actually, finally trying to win in football," 5 June 2019 An edict issued by King Henry VIII of England in 1517, for example, dictated the maximum number of dishes allowed at a meal: nine for a cardinal, seven for the aristocracy and three for the gentry. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, "Unenforceable Laws Against Pleasure," 24 Jan. 2019 Last year, Duckworth, who recently gave birth to her second daughter, asked Klobuchar, the ranking Democrat on the Rules committee, for help changing an edict banning babies from the Senate floor. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "Personable, Popular, Pragmatic: Is Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar the Democrat’s Secret Weapon?," 15 Jan. 2019 The scare prompted then-CEO Bill Gates to issue a companywide edict, known internally as the Trustworthy Computing Initiative, that changed how Microsoft viewed security. Elizabeth Dwoskin, The Seattle Times, "Microsoft CEO Nadella welcomes scrutiny that has roiled tech industry. Easy for him to say," 9 Oct. 2018 Other Cabinet secretaries have denied that there was any edict about not creating public records. Scott Bauer, The Seattle Times, "Second former Walker official comes out against him," 20 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'edict.' 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 edict

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for edict

Middle English, from Latin edictum, from neuter of edictus, past participle of edicere to decree, from e- + dicere to say — more at diction

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Statistics for edict

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for edict

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

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More Definitions for edict



English Language Learners Definition of edict

: an official order given by a person with power or by a government


\ ˈē-ˌdikt How to pronounce edict (audio) \

Kids Definition of edict

: a command or law given or made by an authority (as a ruler)

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More from Merriam-Webster on edict

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with edict

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for edict

Spanish Central: Translation of edict

Nglish: Translation of edict for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of edict for Arabic Speakers

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behavior toward others

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