Definition of ordinance
1a : an authoritative decree or direction : order On that day the king signed three ordinances.b : a law set forth by a governmental authority; specifically : a municipal regulation A city ordinance forbids construction work to start before 8 a.m.
2 : something ordained or decreed by fate or a deity Let ordinance come as the gods foresay [=foretell] it. — William Shakespeare
3 : a prescribed usage, practice, or ceremony observes the ordinance of abstinence during Lent
Examples of ordinance in a sentence
The town has passed a zoning ordinance limiting construction.
a local ordinance forbids all street parking during snowstorms
Origin and Etymology of ordinance
Middle English, from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French ordenance order, disposition, from Medieval Latin ordinantia, from Latin ordinant-, ordinans, present participle of ordinare to put in order — more at ordain
First Known Use: 14th century
Synonym Discussion of ordinance
ORDINANCE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of ordinance for English Language Learners
: a law or regulation made by a city or town government
ORDINANCE Defined for Kids
Definition of ordinance for Students
: a law or regulation especially of a city or town
Legal Definition of ordinance
: an authoritative decree or law; especially : a municipal regulation a zoning ordinance
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up ordinance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).