executive agreement


Definition of executive agreement

: an agreement between the U.S. and a foreign government made by the executive branch either alone or with Congressional approval and dealing usually with routine matters

Examples of executive agreement in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Because it was set up as an executive agreement, not a treaty, congressional approval is not required, Mr. Purvis said. The Christian Science Monitor, "Bidding adieu, US formally exits 2015 Paris climate accord," 5 Nov. 2020 There was a significant outcry from Democrats and the Obama administration in 2015 when Republicans -- led by Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton -- wrote to Iranian leadership explaining the difference between an executive agreement and a treaty. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "John Kerry under fire for reported 'shadow diplomacy' to save Iran deal," 5 May 2018 Because of Republican opposition Obama could not get Congress to ratify it as a treaty, so billed it an executive agreement, meaning it could be overturned by a successor. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Trump slashes at Obama's legacy, but risks his own," 21 Sep. 2017

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

1942, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for executive agreement

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The first known use of executive agreement was in 1942

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Statistics for executive agreement

Last Updated

15 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Executive agreement.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/executive%20agreement. Accessed 29 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for executive agreement

executive agreement


Legal Definition of executive agreement

: an agreement (as an armistice) between the U.S. and a foreign government that is made by the president and usually deals with a subject within the president's powers — compare treaty

Note: An executive agreement does not carry the same weight as a treaty unless it is supported by a joint resolution. Unlike a treaty, an executive agreement can supersede a conflicting state law but not a federal law.

More from Merriam-Webster on executive agreement

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about executive agreement

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