obiter dictum

noun

obi·​ter dic·​tum ˌō-bə-tər-ˈdik-təm How to pronounce obiter dictum (audio)
ˌä-
plural obiter dicta ˌō-bə-tər-ˈdik-tə How to pronounce obiter dictum (audio)
ˌä-
1
: an incidental and collateral opinion that is uttered by a judge but is not binding
2
: an incidental remark or observation

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from Late Latin, "something said in passing"

First Known Use

1782, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of obiter dictum was in 1782

Dictionary Entries Near obiter dictum

Cite this Entry

“Obiter dictum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obiter%20dictum. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Legal Definition

obiter dictum

noun
obi·​ter dic·​tum ˈō-bi-tər-ˈdik-təm, ˈä-bi- How to pronounce obiter dictum (audio)
plural obiter dicta -tə How to pronounce obiter dictum (audio)
: an incidental and collateral remark that is uttered or written by a judge but is not binding : dictum
Etymology

Late Latin, literally, something said in passing

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