fi·​at ˈfē-ət How to pronounce fiat (audio)
-ˌat How to pronounce fiat (audio)
: an authoritative or arbitrary order : decree
government by fiat
: an authoritative determination : dictate
a fiat of conscience
: 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.

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 Twitter will reportedly focus on fiat payment tools initially, although crypto could become a later priority. Chris Morris, Fortune, 27 Oct. 2023 On the surface this might appear to be an unusual move for a company whose core business is processing fiat transactions, but that overlooks the reality that PayPal has long been involved in the crypto sector. Sean Stein Smith, Forbes, 13 Aug. 2023 Stablecoins are a form of cryptocurrency that ties their value to an underlying asset, such as gold or fiat currency, and don’t typically fluctuate in value wildly, as some cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, have, because they are asset-backed. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, 27 July 2023 Eventually, no doubt, the thieves will attempt to cash out more of their stolen and laundered cryptocurrency for some sort of fiat currency. Andy Greenberg, WIRED, 12 Oct. 2023 Furthermore, gas fees associated with on-chain transactions, combined with off-ramp challenges into fiat currency, make crypto payments unfeasible for most people. Byleo Schwartz, Fortune Crypto, 26 Sep. 2023 Stablecoins—digital assets backed by fiat currencies—handle trillions of dollars in transactions on blockchains like Ethereum. Alex Tapscott, Fortune Crypto, 17 Sep. 2023 The pair talked up a vision of transforming different fiat currencies into digital tokens that could be used anywhere to settle payments almost instantly and at a fraction of the cost of traditional transfers. Leo Schwartz, Fortune Crypto, 6 Sep. 2023 Notable exchanges like Bitfinex, Bittrex, Binance, Coinbase, Kraken, and others became the early adopters of USDT, utilizing it as a superior alternative to traditional fiat currencies, thereby bypassing the need for maintaining external banking relationships. Sixteen Ramos, The Arizona Republic, 29 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fiat.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

circa 1631, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of fiat was circa 1631

Cite this Entry

“Fiat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


fi·​at ˈfē-ət How to pronounce fiat (audio) -at How to pronounce fiat (audio)
: an order from someone in charge

Legal Definition

: decree
: an authoritative but arbitrary order
a brazen act of judicial fiatL. H. Tribe

More from Merriam-Webster on fiat

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