Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An authoritative order having the force of law.
  • n. Law The judgment of a court of equity, admiralty, probate, or divorce.
  • n. Roman Catholic Church A doctrinal or disciplinary act of an ecumenical council.
  • n. Roman Catholic Church An administrative act applying or interpreting articles of canon law.
  • transitive v. To ordain, establish, or decide by decree. See Synonyms at dictate.
  • intransitive v. To issue a decree.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An edict or law.
  • n. The judicial decision in a litigated cause rendered by a court of equity.
  • n. The determination of a cause in a court of admiralty, or a court of probate.
  • v. To command by a decree.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An order from one having authority, deciding what is to be done by a subordinate; also, a determination by one having power, deciding what is to be done or to take place; edict, law; authoritative ru�� decision.
  • n.
  • n. A decision, order, or sentence, given in a cause by a court of equity or admiralty.
  • n. A determination or judgment of an umpire on a case submitted to him.
  • n. An edict or law made by a council for regulating any business within their jurisdiction.
  • transitive v. To determine judicially by authority, or by decree; to constitute by edict; to appoint by decree or law; to determine; to order; to ordain.
  • transitive v. To ordain by fate.
  • intransitive v. To make decrees; -- used absolutely.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A special ordinance or regulation promulgated by civil or other authority; an authoritative decision having the force of law.
  • n. Specifically In Roman law, a determination or judgment of the emperor on a suit between parties.
  • n. An edict or a law made by an ecclesiastical council for regulating business within its jurisdiction.
  • n. A judicial decision or determination of a litigated cause; specifically, the sentence or order of a court of chancery, or of a court of admiralty or of probate, after a hearing or submission of the cause.
  • n. In theology, one of the eternal purposes of God, whereby for his own glory he has foreordained whatsoever comes to pass.
  • n. The judgment or award of an umpire in a case submitted to him.
  • n. 4 and Judgment, Order, etc. (see decision); proclamation, fiat, mandate.
  • To order or promulgate with authority; issue as an edict or ordinance.
  • To determine judicially; resolve by sentence; adjudge: as, the court decreed a restoration of the property.
  • To determine or resolve legislatively; determine or decide on.
  • Synonyms To order, ordain, command, enact.
  • To determine; predetermine immutably; constitute or appoint by edict.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. issue a decree
  • v. decide with authority
  • n. a legally binding command or decision entered on the court record (as if issued by a court or judge)

Etymologies

Middle English decre, from Old French decret, from Latin dēcrētum, principle, decision, from neuter past participle of dēcernere, to decide : dē-, de- + cernere, to sift; see krei- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

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