Definitions

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

  • n. An arbitrary order or decree.
  • n. Authorization or sanction: government fiat.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An authoritative command or order to do something; an effectual decree.
  • n. A warrant of a judge for certain processes.
  • n. An authority for certain proceedings given by the Lord Chancellor's signature.
  • v. To make (something) happen.

Etymologies

Medieval Latin, from Latin, let it be done, third person sing. present subjunctive of fierī, to become, to be done; see bheuə- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin fīat ("let it be done"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The term "fiat currency" pops up frequently in various places this refers to money that is directly benchmarked to the average number of times Italian cars break down in a week.

    Forbes.com: News

  • I used the term fiat lending to differentiate from on-lending.

    LPUK Policy: Monetary Reform

  • The term fiat money is used to mean: any money declared by a government to be legal tender; state-issued money which is neither legally convertible to any other thing, nor fixed in value in terms of any objective standard; money without intrinsic value.

    Mangan's

  • Where fiat money is used as currency, the term fiat currency is used.

    Mangan's

  • Gold has no intrinsic value as a consumption good or a producer good, it is an example of what I call a fiat (physical) commodity ...

    Garrett Johnson: Golden Myths

  • Never mind that the world has independent legal systems peculiar to each nation or that within the USA the jurisdiction of Judge Jones 'fiat is limited.

    2009 July - Telic Thoughts

  • Another thing: when we do have human (or alien) villains: no one, other than by authorial fiat, is a villain in their own story.

    MIND MELD: Bad Guys We Love to Hate: The Best Film Villains in SF/F/H (with Various Videos of Villainy)

  • President Obama was elected fairly (not by fiat from the SCOTUS) and is trying to actually DO something positive.

    On Obama's agenda next week: Golf

  • If you, like me, have no clue what the word fiat really means, you could argue that having gold behind a currency is also a form of fiat, that gold should be worth its value as a commodity rather than seen as a great and perpetual store of value.

    Bill Baker: Fiat Currency Fever: The Causes

  • The flaws in fiat money was the major contribution to this crisis.

    Hey Judy Shelton: Enough already with the Gold Standard

Comments

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  • The Fiat Group is the largest industrial enterprise in Italy and one of the founders of the European motor industry. Right from the outset, the company had a strong propensity for international expansion and innovation.

    Fiat is an automotive-focused industrial Group and designs and manufactures automobiles, trucks, wheel loaders, excavators, telehandlers, tractors and combine harvesters.

    July 6, 2009

  • Rx abbreviated (ft) make; let it be made.

    February 18, 2009

  • Full text is here and the article appears to be about how an outgoing Postmaster General perceives the business might be come 2020.

    December 15, 2007

  • bilby, what's that article about? By the way, that's the third definition of fiat on this page, for those keeping score at home.

    December 15, 2007

  • I think that Fiats sold in the former Soviet Union were sold under the trade name Ukase.

    December 15, 2007

  • "Postmaster General Marvin Runyon said, when exiting his position in 1998, that he believes that the monopoly will become increasingly irrelevant, 'not through legislative fiat, not through the power of PAC dollars. But through the natural forces of marketplace competition.'" - Wikipedia.

    December 15, 2007

  • Fair enough, kewpid. I don't know where you live, but my particular government tends to lean more towards slow, bureaucratic, and inept, and away from almighty. ;-)

    December 14, 2007

  • Colourful bits of polymer ... I love it, just add a turn indicator you never use on the streets of Turin and it's a Fiat. I keep imagining Mister Bean driving this car and paying his parking fines with a ham-fistful of this currency.

    December 14, 2007

  • Paper money has value as a promissory note enforced with the ALMIGHTY POWER OF THE GOVERNMENT! So unless you're predicting a bloody revolution, I'm fairly content with my colourful bits of polymer :)

    December 14, 2007

  • It was worth more than unbacked money right up until you had to get it repaired. Then it was worse than worthless. Mechanics used to open the hood and laugh...

    December 14, 2007

  • 500! Classic! And I don't even like cars :-(

    December 14, 2007

  • Well, yes. Likely it was worth more than unbacked money... ;-)

    December 14, 2007

  • I had a Fiat once. The engine was sideways...

    December 14, 2007

  • Money that has no inherent value, only perceived value held by those who exchange it. When people realize that all of their wealth is represented by worthless pieces of paper, their confidence in the currency collapses, and so does the currency itself. The alternative is commodity-backed currency, the most common of which is known as the gold standard. Nobel laureate Milton Friedman was a vocal critic of fiat money, along with other notable economists like Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard.

    December 14, 2007