in·​ter·​dict | \ ˈin-tər-ˌdikt How to pronounce interdict (audio) \

Definition of interdict

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a Roman Catholic ecclesiastical censure withdrawing most sacraments and Christian burial from a person or district
2 : a prohibitory decree


in·​ter·​dict | \ ˌin-tər-ˈdikt How to pronounce interdict (audio) \
interdicted; interdicting; interdicts

Definition of interdict (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to lay under or prohibit by an interdict
2 : to forbid in a usually formal or authoritative manner
3a : to destroy, damage, or cut off (something, such as an enemy line of supply) by firepower to stop or hamper an enemy
b : intercept sense 1a interdict drug shipments

Other Words from interdict


interdiction \ ˌin-​tər-​ˈdik-​shən How to pronounce interdict (audio) \ noun
interdictive \ ˌin-​tər-​ˈdik-​tiv How to pronounce interdict (audio) \ adjective
interdictor \ ˌin-​tər-​ˈdik-​tər How to pronounce interdict (audio) \ noun
interdictory \ ˌin-​tər-​ˈdik-​t(ə-​)rē How to pronounce interdict (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for interdict

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for interdict


forbid, prohibit, interdict, inhibit mean to debar one from doing something or to order that something not be done. forbid implies that the order is from one in authority and that obedience is expected. smoking is forbidden in the building prohibit suggests the issuing of laws, statutes, or regulations. prohibited the sale of liquor interdict implies prohibition by civil or ecclesiastical authority usually for a given time or a declared purpose. practices interdicted by the church inhibit implies restraints or restrictions that amount to prohibitions, not only by authority but also by the exigencies of the time or situation. conditions inhibiting the growth of free trade

Did you know?

Interdict and interdiction are used for very serious prohibitions—more serious than, say, a professor telling the class that texting is forbidden during lectures. During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, an interdict was a sentence imposed by the powerful Catholic Church forbidding a person or place, and sometimes even an entire country, from receiving church privileges or participating in church functions. Interdict now often means "cut off" in a physically forceful way as well; interdictions are usually targeted at either arms supplies or illegal drug shipments.

Examples of interdict in a Sentence

Noun the church's controversial interdict against the use of birth control devices Verb the state legislature moved to interdict the use of radar-detection devices by motorists federal agents are able to interdict only a small percentage of the narcotic shipments into the country
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Environmental and community groups in South Africa's Eastern Cape province won an urgent interdict to stop the surveys in December last year and are now asking the court to permanently halt the operations. Mogomotsi Magome, ajc, 2 June 2022 South African Revenue Service Commissioner Tom Moyane will seek a legal interdict against Cyril Ramaphosa if the president does not stop trying to remove him from the tax agency, according to people familiar with the matter. Paul Vecchiatto,, 19 Mar. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And the trucks carrying the munitions the Russians want to interdict are just a small part of a much larger flow of goods and commerce moving around in Poland and Ukraine and across the border. Robert Burns, Anchorage Daily News, 13 Apr. 2022 Then there are the border crossers that agents are unable to interdict. Washington Post, 3 June 2021 Agents responded to try to interdict the boat and saw several people in the water who appeared to be in distress near Children’s Pool around 5:20 a.m., Stephenson said. Karen Kucher, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 May 2021 Bowman argued the administration should move to interdict arms shipments to Yemen, depriving the Houthis of a steady supply of weapons. NBC News, 12 Mar. 2021 No one was arrested, and the ultralight flew back to Mexico before federal agents were able to interdict it. Anna Giaritelli, Washington Examiner, 4 Dec. 2020 Large physical barriers are considered most effective in more urban areas of the border, where agents have less time to interdict someone and prevent them from getting into a vehicle. Nick Miroff, Washington Post, 2 July 2020 His ability to interdict grain shipments led to hardship inside the walls. Cullen Murphy, The Atlantic, 9 June 2020 Since closing the border between Michigan and Canada to all nonessential travel in March to limit the spread of coronavirus, U.S. Customs agents have interdicted firearms and nearly 3,000 pounds of narcotics, most of which was marijuana. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, 19 May 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'interdict.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of interdict


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for interdict


Middle English, alteration of entredite, from Anglo-French, from Latin interdictum prohibition, from neuter of interdictus, past participle of interdicere to interpose, forbid, from inter- + dicere to say — more at diction

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The first known use of interdict was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

13 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Interdict.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for interdict


in·​ter·​dict | \ ˈint-ər-ˌdikt How to pronounce interdict (audio) \

Medical Definition of interdict

civil law
: one who has been determined to be incompetent to care for his or her own person or affairs (as by reason of mental incapacity)


in·​ter·​dict | \ ˈin-tər-ˌdikt How to pronounce interdict (audio) \

Legal Definition of interdict

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something that prohibits
2 : one that has been interdicted — compare ward


transitive verb
in·​ter·​dict | \ ˌin-tər-ˈdikt How to pronounce interdict (audio) \

Legal Definition of interdict (Entry 2 of 2)

1 in the civil law of Louisiana : to deprive (a person) of the right to care for one's own person or affairs because of mental incapacity — compare commit, curator, tutor
2 : to authoritatively prohibit or bar (an act or conduct)
3 : to intercept or cut off (as a drug shipment) by force

More from Merriam-Webster on interdict

Nglish: Translation of interdict for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of interdict for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about interdict


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