\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

In most instances, a school system does an internal review to see if policies or training edicts were violated, Mysogland said. Josh Kovner, courant.com, "DCF will interview teacher, parents and children as it investigates complaint against Avon magnet school teacher," 12 July 2019 Yet a tapestry of sociopolitical misfortunes, economic embargoes, censorship, along with stringent religious edicts under Bashir shattered creative expression, leaving many artists jailed, banned, or exiled. Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz Africa, "Sudan’s street protests have inspired another revolution—in art," 12 July 2019 Whether Darroch attends could be telling in terms of how strictly the president's edict will be enforced. Alexander Smith, NBC News, "Trump hits out at U.K.'s Theresa May and Ambassador Darroch after leak," 9 July 2019 Google, in other words, is taking a massive potential hit in order to comply with Trump’s edict. Matthew Gault, The New Republic, "The U.S. Government Is Utterly Inept at Keeping Your Data Secure," 12 June 2019 The king said his surprise edict would be immediately enforced. Alexandra Wexler, WSJ, "Even a King Can’t Rename a Country Without Some Complications," 27 May 2019 His edict, and the violence that followed, caused a lasting rupture with the revolutionaries who helped put Mr Morsi in office. The Economist, "Muhammad Morsi, Egypt’s only democratic ruler, dies in court," 17 June 2019 At times, López Obrador ignored his assembly and governed by edict. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, "A New Revolution in Mexico," 25 June 2012 Congress’ decision to remove the edict in the Affordable Care Act that all adults have health insurance, either through their jobs, Medicaid or by purchasing it directly. Jenna Carlesso, courant.com, "Public option bill, already weakened by debate, dies in the Senate," 6 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about edict

Statistics for edict

Last Updated

8 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for edict

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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)

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on edict

What made you want to look up edict? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a period when something is suspended

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!