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[dih-seed-nt] /dɪˈsid nt/
noun, Law.
a deceased person.
Origin of decedent
1590-1600; < Latin dēcēdent- (stem of dēcēdēns) departing, withdrawing, present participle of dēcēdere. See decease, -ent Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for decedent
Historical Examples
  • Any distribution of chattels would take place after all the decedent's debts were paid from the property.

  • Outside of this little group of States, the decedent may be tucked away informally underground and no one be the wiser for it.

  • The decedent left a son, but he was of another gens and consequently incapable of succeeding.

    Ancient Society Lewis Henry Morgan
  • Each party claimed a right to inherit the lands of the decedent, according to the laws.

  • Again, in settling the estate of the deceased person, personal property is always to be used first to pay the decedent's debts.

    Commercial Law Samuel Williston, Richard D. Currier, and Richard W. Hill
  • The phrators of the decedent in a body were the mourners, and the members of the opposite phratry conducted the ceremonies.

    Ancient Society Lewis Henry Morgan
  • The widow or children of any decedent are entitled to the same amount from his estate for her or their use.

British Dictionary definitions for decedent


(law, mainly US) a deceased person
Word Origin
C16: from Latin dēcēdēns departing; see decease
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 decedent

1730, "dead person," mostly as a term in law, from Latin decedentem, present participle of decedere "to die, to depart" (see decease (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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