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

If, for example, the inhabitants of some countries abandon their failing inflationary fiat currency and begin to use Libra instead. . Sue Halpern, The New Yorker, "Facebook’s Audacious Pitch for a Global Cryptocurrency," 30 July 2019 But the tax treatment of a coin tied to a basket of fiat currencies is not clear. Timothy Massad, Fortune, "Is Facebook Libra a Betrayal of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Vision?," 15 July 2019 This is mainly because Zimbabweans can no longer use foreign fiat currencies to settle local transactions. Tawanda Karombo, Quartz Africa, "Zimbabwe banned the US dollar from being used so local bitcoin demand is soaring again," 10 July 2019 Nearly 50 years into using fiat currency at a floating exchange rate, a total overhaul of America’s entrenched monetary policy framework is much less feasible. Gwynn Guilford, Quartz, "The quiet campaign to reinstate the gold standard is getting louder," 3 July 2019 These are units of cryptocurrency that are tied to some real world asset such as real estate, precious metal or fiat currency. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "Security Tokens Will Be the 'Killer App' of Cryptocurrency, Overstock CEO Says," 20 June 2019 In other words, elites never suffered the firsthand consequences of their own ideological fiats. Victor Davis Hanson, The Mercury News, "Hanson: Why are Western middle classes revolting against the elites?," 13 June 2019 They are not valued sufficiently to sustain democracy where, finally, the habitability of their place in the world can be sold as a commodity, or where their expectations and hopes can be lowered by fiat. Marilynne Robinson, Harper's magazine, "Is Poverty Necessary?," 10 June 2019 In a monopolised market, sellers get to bargain by fiat. The Economist, "Regulating Big Tech makes them stronger, so they need competition instead," 6 June 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.

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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

14 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

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).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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