\ 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 Shi argued that Chinese gamers would be far more active due to delays in college start dates and stay-at-home edicts. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, "How is China experiencing the coronavirus outbreak? Almost entirely online," 12 Feb. 2020 Knight was put on a zero-tolerance edict in May 2000. Matthew Glenesk, Indianapolis Star, "Timeline: Bob Knight over the years — from Ohio schoolboy to Indiana legend," 8 Feb. 2020 The Ford family gave general manager Bob Quinn and, by implication, head coach Matt Patricia, a win-now edict. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions can't afford to watch Tua Tagovailoa become a star somewhere else," 31 Jan. 2020 Despite the courtroom verdict, the powerful new commissioner banned all eight players for life — a harsh edict that stands to this day. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: MLB needs to put Shoeless Joe back in the game," 8 Oct. 2019 So, for example, if class-action lawsuits challenging ice or milk content in Starbucks coffee are banned, the government will likely intervene and establish extreme edicts on espressos. Kenneth K. Lee, National Review, "A Counterintuitive and Compelling Case for Class-Action Lawsuits," 2 Dec. 2019 She, too, had broken rules, in her case by divorcing when the Catholic Church’s edicts held firm in her family. Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post, "For one non-binary teen, coming of age means getting their parents to embrace a new name," 20 Dec. 2019 The dialogue-light character embodies the trolls who have tried to take down Johnson and anyone else who resists fan-servicing edicts in today’s toxic social media climate. John Wenzel, The Know, "Review: “Knives Out” is a dazzling, witty murder mystery in an age of franchises," 28 Nov. 2019 Trump's edict provoked backlash on Twitter and in the press from U.S. business executives. Fortune, "Can Trump ‘Order’ US Firms Out of China? Should He? — CEO Daily," 24 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for edict

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for edict

Last Updated

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Edict.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/edict. Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for edict


How to pronounce edict (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for edict

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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