\ 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 edict (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 Pressed by reporters a day later in his home state of Kentucky, McConnell subsequently clarified that edict excluded donations. Philip Elliott, Time, "Mitch McConnell Tries to Have it Both Ways on Corporate Cash," 7 Apr. 2021 Ohio’s last call edict expired, replaced by a curfew. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, "Doc's Morning Line: It’s an interesting thing we do with people in Thom Brennaman’s situation," 5 Apr. 2021 His wife, Christi, has a firm edict that his work clothes are never to touch hers. Chuck Blount, San Antonio Express-News, "How San Antonio pitmasters and grill cooks deal with smoke smell, because living that BBQ life means always smelling like smoke," 5 Apr. 2021 The decisions came one day after the deadline for districts to file for exemptions from a state edict to resume full-time, in-person learning in kindergarten through grade 5 by April 5. BostonGlobe.com, "Mass. approves dozens of requests from districts to delay full-time school reopening," 23 Mar. 2021 DeLauro and Leahy have issued no such edict and aides note that congressional rules forbid those strong-arm tactics. Paul Kane, Anchorage Daily News, "After a decade, congressional earmarks are back - with some strings attached," 13 Mar. 2021 At that time, McMaster also issued a similar edict for restaurantgoers and employees. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Bike Week, prison PR, somber anniversaries: News from around our 50 states," 8 Mar. 2021 Now a new Covid strain loomed, along with the grim prospect of another citywide shutdown, a delivery-only edict. Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker, "How Restaurants Survive the Long Pandemic Winter," 22 Feb. 2021 Trying to use a state edict to cut off Mexican power generators in a crisis was a public admission that in Texas’s eyes, customers south of the border don’t rate. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "AMLO’s Plan to Drop Texas Gas," 21 Feb. 2021

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

18 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

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

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for edict

Nglish: Translation of edict for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of edict for Arabic Speakers

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