Definitions

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

  • noun An arbitrary order or decree.
  • noun Authorization or sanction.

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

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

Etymologies

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

[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.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin fīat ("let it be done").

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

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

    Mangan's

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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)

  • 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

  • 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

Comments

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  • 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

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

    December 14, 2007

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

    December 14, 2007

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

    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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • "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

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

    December 15, 2007