from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A decree or proclamation issued by an authority and having the force of law.
  • noun A formal pronouncement or command.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A decree or law promulgated by a sovereign prince or ruler on his sole authority; hence, any analogous order or command.
  • noun Specifically In Roman law, a decree or ordinance of a pretor.
  • noun In Scotch ecclesiastical use, a church proclamation; specifically, a notice to show cause, if any, why a pastor or elders should not be ordained.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A public command or ordinance by the sovereign power; the proclamation of a law made by an absolute authority, as if by the very act of announcement; a decree
  • noun (French Hist.) an edict issued by Henry IV. (A. D. 1598), giving toleration to Protestants. Its revocation by Louis XIV. (A. D. 1685) was followed by terrible persecutions and the expatriation of thousands of French Protestants.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a proclamation of law or other authoritative command

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

  • noun a formal or authoritative proclamation
  • noun a legally binding command or decision entered on the court record (as if issued by a court or judge)


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

[Latin ēdictum, from neuter past participle of ēdīcere, to declare : ē-, ex-, ex- + dīcere, to speak; see deik- in Indo-European roots.]


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  • "HERMIA: If then true lovers have been ever crossed

    It stands as an edict in destiny."

    From Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'

    January 12, 2012