fi·​at | \ ˈfē-ət How to pronounce fiat (audio) , -ˌat, -ˌät; ˈfī-ət, -ˌat How to pronounce fiat (audio) \

Definition of fiat

1 : a command or act of will that creates something without or as if without further effort According to the Bible, the world was created by fiat.
2 : an authoritative determination : dictate a fiat of conscience
3 : an authoritative or arbitrary order : decree government by fiat

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Examples of fiat in a Sentence

He runs the company by fiat. the school principal issued a fiat that caps were not to be worn inside the school, and that was that

Recent Examples on the Web

China’s early reductions in air pollution have been achieved through an engineering-style fiat that dictates specific actions, rather than relying on markets to find the least expensive methods to reduce pollution. Michael Greenstone, New York Times, "Four Years After Declaring War on Pollution, China Is Winning," 12 Mar. 2018 Millions of people now rely on ObamaCare’s subsidies and rules, which argues against judges repealing the law by fiat. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Texas ObamaCare Blunder," 16 Dec. 2018 They were still denominated in cryptocurrencies, so the foundation began to sell them off for regular fiat—hard currency was needed for rent and salaries—at the rate of approximately half a million dollars a day. Gideon Lewis-kraus, WIRED, "The Blockchain: A Love Story—And a Horror Story," 18 June 2018 Currency exchanges such as Coinbase, headquartered in San Francisco, allow anyone to buy a coin or a fraction of a coin for either fiat or cryptocurrencies, thus opening up the market to new users. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "A Sidelined Wall Street Legend Bets on Bitcoin," 10 Apr. 2018 In our fiat currency system, this demand-supply problem is solved by central banks like the Federal Reserve. Mark Zandi,, "Bitcoin is outpacing stocks but it's still a big bubble, Moodys' Mark Zandi warns," 22 Mar. 2018 Because they are accustomed now to winning these victories on social policies and other issues by judicial fiat. Fox News, "Leonard Leo on why Trump appointed Judge Kavanaugh," 10 July 2018 The idea could take hold by way of governmental fiat — a bill introduced in California would prevent public pension funds based in that state from investing in asset managers that do not comply with race and gender pay equity policy. Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times, "Financial World’s A-List Could Take Hollywood’s Cue on Inclusion," 18 June 2018 The very mandate that keeps them operational is the result of administrative fiat. WSJ, "Government Is Bad at Picking Energy Winners," 13 June 2018

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

circa 1631, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fiat

Latin, let it be done, 3rd singular present subjunctive of fieri to become, be done — more at be

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Time Traveler for fiat

The first known use of fiat was circa 1631

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More Definitions for fiat



English Language Learners Definition of fiat

formal : an official order given by someone who has power : an order that must be followed


fi·​at | \ ˈfē-ˌät, -ˌat, -ət; ˈfī-ˌat How to pronounce fiat (audio) \

Legal Definition of fiat

1 : decree
2 : an authoritative but arbitrary order a brazen act of judicial fiat— L. H. Tribe

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More from Merriam-Webster on fiat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fiat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fiat

Spanish Central: Translation of fiat

Nglish: Translation of fiat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fiat for Arabic Speakers

Comments on fiat

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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