What does decree mean?

Definitions for decree

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word decree.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. decree, edict, fiat, order, rescriptverb

    a legally binding command or decision entered on the court record (as if issued by a court or judge)

    "a friend in New Mexico said that the order caused no trouble out there"

  2. decreeverb

    issue a decree

    "The King only can decree"

  3. rule, decreeverb

    decide with authority

    "The King decreed that all firstborn males should be killed"


  1. decreenoun

    An edict or law.

  2. decreenoun

    The judicial decision in a litigated cause rendered by a court of equity.

  3. decreenoun

    The determination of a cause in a court of admiralty, or a court of probate.

  4. decreeverb

    To command by a decree.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Decreenoun

    Etymology: decretum, Latin.

    If you deny me, fie upon your law!
    There is no force in the decrees of Venice. William Shakespeare.

    There went a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. Luke ii. 1.

    Are we condemn’d by fate’s unjust decree,
    No more our houses and our homes to see? John Dryden, Virg.

    The Supreme Being is sovereignly good; he rewards the just, and punishes the unjust: and the folly of man, and not the decree of heaven, is the cause of human calamity. William Broome.

    When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder. Job xxviii. 26.

    John Ayliffe, Parergon.

  2. To Decreeverb

    To doom or assign by a decree.

    Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established. Job.

    The king their father,
    On just and weighty reasons, has decreed
    His sceptre to the younger. Nicholas Rowe, Ambitious Step-mother.

  3. To DECREEverb

    To make an edict; to appoint by edict; to establish by law; to determine; to resolve.

    Etymology: decretum, Latin.

    They shall see the end of the wise, and shall not understand what God in his counsel hath decreed of him. Wisd. iv.

    Father eternal! Thine is to decree;
    Mine, both in heav’n and earth, to do thy will. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. x. l. 68.

    Had heav’n decreed that I should life enjoy,
    Heav’n had decreed to save unhappy Troy. John Dryden, Æn.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Decreenoun

    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

  2. Decreenoun

    a decision, order, or sentence, given in a cause by a court of equity or admiralty

  3. Decreenoun

    a determination or judgment of an umpire on a case submitted to him

  4. Decreenoun

    an edict or law made by a council for regulating any business within their jurisdiction; as, the decrees of ecclesiastical councils

  5. Decreeverb

    to determine judicially by authority, or by decree; to constitute by edict; to appoint by decree or law; to determine; to order; to ordain; as, a court decrees a restoration of property

  6. Decreeverb

    to ordain by fate

  7. Decreeverb

    to make decrees; -- used absolutely


  1. Decree

    A decree is a rule of law usually issued by a head of state, according to certain procedures. It has the force of law. The particular term used for this concept may vary from country to country—the executive orders made by the President of the United States, for example, are decrees. In non-legal English usage, however, the term refers to any authoritarian decision.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Decree

    de-krē′, n. an order by one in authority: an edict or law: a judicial decision: a predetermined purpose.—v.t. to decide or determine by sentence in law: to appoint.—v.i. to make a decree:—pr.p. decree′ing; pa.p. decreed′.—adjs. Decree′able, capable of being decreed; Decrē′tive, having the force of a decree; Dec′rētory, Decretō′rial, established by a decree: determining: judicial.—Decree nisi (L. nisi, unless), a decree that becomes absolute unless cause be shown to the contrary—granted esp. in divorce cases. [O. Fr. decret—L. decretumdecernĕre, to decide.]

Editors Contribution

  1. decree

    A form of rule or legislation.

    The mayoral decree is welcomed as she ensures that the vehicle spaces at the town are free to all to use.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 13, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. decree

    Song lyrics by decree -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by decree on the Lyrics.com website.

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British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'decree' in Nouns Frequency: #2863

How to pronounce decree?

How to say decree in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of decree in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of decree in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of decree in a Sentence

  1. Raymond Londa:

    As the consent decree language indicates, in several different places, it states that he did not in any way shape or form admit or acknowledge wrongdoing or liability, joseph Centanni continues to deny the allegations made against Joseph Centanni in this and in any other cases.

  2. Uri Orbach:

    This decree is very serious and we will not allow it to pass unopposed. (on Israel offers 10-month West Bank settlement freeze)

  3. Deedar Ali:

    We have close links to Iran and a mutual aim under a shared ideology to stand united under the current longtime supreme leader of Iran, Deedar Ali, who is the ultimate power for us, his words stand no less than a decree for us.

  4. David Boies:

    The Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment prohibits the Government from imposing religious-based restrictions on the personal decisions of individual citizens, here, the State attempts to use religious criteria to decree to which secondary school parents may send their children simply because the parents receive generally available tuition assistance. This law strikes at the heart of, and is clearly prohibited by, the Free Exercise Clause.

  5. Raiza Sucre:

    We're here to defeat Obama's decree. It's stupid.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for decree

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    directed outward; marked by interest in others or concerned with external reality
    • A. extroversive
    • B. butch
    • C. foreordained
    • D. eloquent

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