Why was clemency trending last week?


[awr-dn-uh ns] /ˈɔr dn əns/
an authoritative rule or law; a decree or command.
a public injunction or regulation:
a city ordinance against excessive horn blowing.
something believed to have been ordained, as by a deity or destiny.
  1. an established rite or ceremony.
  2. a sacrament.
  3. the communion.
Origin of ordinance
1275-1325; Middle English ordinaunce (< Old French ordenance) < Medieval Latin ordinantia, derivative of Latin ordinant- (stem of ordināns), present participle of ordināre to arrange. See ordination, -ance
Related forms
preordinance, noun
Can be confused
ordinance, ordnance, ordonnance.
1,2. order. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ordinance
  • Claims were also made that the ordinance was simply a way for the township to gain extra cash without resorting to new taxes.
  • But some who oppose the ordinance say that there are other, deeper, ramifications.
  • The government also quietly adopted a new counter-terrorism ordinance last month, without debate.
  • What followed was over five years of small-town politics and zoning ordinance red tape.
  • Since the ordinance took effect, the police have reported no problems in public restrooms stemming from the law.
  • Intended to maintain calm, the ordinance succeeded in enforcing boredom.
  • They have an ordinance that says cell towers have to be hidden from sight.
  • Let me make clear: there is no ordinance dictating that lights on the green must be white.
  • No honking or construction work within a hundred metres of a testing site-by local ordinance.
  • Writer spoke with several persons about the possibility of modifying the city ordinance.
British Dictionary definitions for ordinance


an authoritative regulation, decree, law, or practice
Word Origin
C14: from Old French ordenance, from Latin ordināre to set in order
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ordinance

c.1300, "an authoritative direction, decree, or command" (narrower or more transitory than a law), from Old French ordenance (Modern French ordonnance) or directly from Medieval Latin ordinantia, from Latin ordinantem (nominative ordinans), present participle of ordinare "put in order" (see ordain). By early 14c. senses had emerged of "arrangement in ranks or rows" (especially in order of battle), also "warlike provisions, equipment" (a sense now in ordnance).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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