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 Absent that, companies will have to grapple with a hodgepodge of foreign rules plus whatever parts of this project Treasury can impose by regulatory fiat. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 6 June 2021 The fate of oil production should be settled in the marketplace by consumer demand, rather than by gubernatorial fiat. George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, 6 May 2021 In a sense, Mr. Becerra embodies today’s threats to free exercise, which often take the form of executive fiat. William Mcgurn, WSJ, 1 Mar. 2021 Another warning: a trade like this one may take more political maneuvering since it can’t be done by presidential fiat. Marguerite Roza, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2021 That’s a legacy of administrations that have used monument status as a sort of trump card, a way to protect lands by executive fiat that didn’t have support in the legislative process. Andrew Mckean, Outdoor Life, 5 Mar. 2021 Biden faces a choice, some activists say, between ruling mostly via executive fiat — which permits modest accomplishments at best — and pulling down the structural obstacles. Annie Linskey, Sean Sullivan,, 5 Mar. 2021 At the time, Psaki similarly said the senators should pass a bill rather than relying on executive fiat. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, 17 Feb. 2021 But White House press secretary Jen Psaki said roughly an hour later Biden believes Congress should craft legislation on the matter rather than relying on executive fiat. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, 4 Feb. 2021

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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Statistics for fiat

Last Updated

11 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fiat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on fiat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fiat

Nglish: Translation of fiat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fiat for Arabic Speakers


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