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

  • noun An authoritative command or order.
  • noun A custom or practice established by long usage.
  • noun A Christian rite, especially the Eucharist.
  • noun A statute or regulation, especially one enacted by a city government.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To arm with ordnance.
  • noun Ordering; disposition; arrangement.
  • noun Orderly disposition; proper arrangement; regular order; due proportion.
  • noun Order; rank; dignity; position.
  • noun Preparation; provision; array; arrangement.
  • noun An appliance; an appointment; an arrangement; equipment: as, ordinance of war; hence, specifically, cannon; ordnance. See ordnance.
  • noun Established state or condition; regular or established mode of action; proceeding as regulated by authority.
  • noun Regulation by authority; a command; an appointment; an order; that which is ordained, ordered, or appointed; a rule or law established by authority; edict; decree, as of the Supreme Being or of Fate; law or statute made by human authority; authoritative regulation.
  • noun Eccles., a religious ceremony, rite, or practice established by authority: as, the ordinance of baptism.
  • noun In architecture, arrangement; system; order: said of a part or detail as well as of an architectural whole.
  • noun Synonyms Edict, Decree, etc. See law.

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

  • noun obsolete Orderly arrangement; preparation; provision.
  • noun A rule established by authority; a permanent rule of action; a statute, law, regulation, rescript, or accepted usage; an edict or decree; esp., a local law enacted by a municipal government.
  • noun (Eccl.) An established rite or ceremony.
  • noun obsolete Rank; order; station.
  • noun obsolete Ordnance; cannon.

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

  • noun a local law or regulation.
  • noun a religious practice or ritual prescribed by the church.

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

  • noun an authoritative rule
  • noun a statute enacted by a city government
  • noun the act of ordaining; the act of conferring (or receiving) holy orders


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

[Middle English ordinaunce, from Old French ordenance, from Medieval Latin ōrdinantia, from Latin ōrdināns, ōrdinant-, present participle of ōrdināre, to ordain, from ōrdō, ōrdin-, order; see ar- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English (ca. 1300), from Old French ordenance (Modern French ordonnance) "decree, command", from Middle Latin ordinantia, from ordinans, the present participle of Latin ordinare "put in order" (whence ordain).


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