from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An edict or decree issued by a sovereign that becomes part of the fundamental law of the land.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. a solemn ordinance or decree issued by the head or legislature of a state upon weighty matters; -- a term derived from the Byzantine empire. In European history, two decrees under this name are particularly celebrated. One of these, issued by Charles VII. of France, A. D. 1438, was the foundation of the liberties of the Gallican church; the other, issued by Charles VI. of Germany, A. D. 1724, settled his hereditary dominions on his eldest daughter, the Archduchess Maria Theresa.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an imperial decree that becomes part of the fundamental law of the land
Translation of Late Latin prāgmatica sānctiō, imperial decree referring to the affairs of a community : Latin prāgmatica, feminine of prāgmaticus, referring to civil affairs + Latin sānctiō, ordinance.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)