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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Public gyms were either closed or prohibited for use by NBA fiat as well. Jeff Mcdonald,, "For San Antonio Spurs, chance to resume no slam dunk," 3 July 2020 Across the country, states have taken actions big and small, early and only recently, by regulation and recommendation, by executive fiat and through legislative action. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "States are playing an outsized role in fighting coronavirus, but they are far from united," 26 Mar. 2020 But the world’s second-biggest economy will not heal by Mr Xi’s fiat alone. The Economist, "Flowerbeds of enterprise Private companies have put down strong roots in China," 30 Apr. 2020 The popularity of New Order’s Singularity offers a last hope against restrictions that are not entirely based on science but come from the fiat of leaders who claim to know what’s best. Armond White, National Review, "Rebellion, New Order–Style: What Happened to It?," 16 Apr. 2020 Hottman acknowledged that financial help at this point to hospitals may be hard to accept for others whose businesses and livelihoods were eliminated by executive fiat. oregonlive, "Oregon hospitals seek $200 million state rescue package as coronavirus outbreak drains their finances," 8 Apr. 2020 From Asia to Europe to North America, people are losing their jobs by government fiat. Peter S. Goodman, New York Times, "The Nordic Way to Economic Rescue," 28 Mar. 2020 Insurance works only when sick and healthy people are pooled together, in America by employment, and in other rich countries by government fiat across the whole population. Time, "How Healthcare Costs Hurt American Workers and Benefit the Wealthy," 20 Feb. 2020 One of Hillary Clinton’s mistakes in the 2016 presidential race was her stance on climate change, which would have seen a continuation of Obama’s regulatory fiat. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "How the Media Corrupted Climate Policy," 5 July 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fiat

Time Traveler for fiat

Time Traveler

The first known use of fiat was circa 1631

See more words from the same year

Statistics for fiat

Last Updated

16 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fiat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fiat


How to pronounce fiat (audio) How to pronounce fiat (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on fiat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fiat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!