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[dih-kree] /dɪˈkri/
a formal and authoritative order, especially one having the force of law:
a presidential decree.
Law. a judicial decision or order.
Theology. one of the eternal purposes of God, by which events are foreordained.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), decreed, decreeing.
to command, ordain, or decide by decree.
Origin of decree
1275-1325; (noun) Middle English decre < Anglo-French decre, decret < Latin dēcrētum, noun use of neuter of dēcrētus, past participle of dēcernere; see decern; (v.) Middle English decreen, derivative of the noun
Related forms
predecree, verb (used with object), predecreed, predecreeing.
undecreed, adjective
well-decreed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for decree
  • But in the period before the vote, the populist, leftist president would be able to rule by decree.
  • Grammar is subject to majority rule, not autocratic decree.
  • The decree authorises police raids without warrant, the use of anonymous witnesses and secret evidence.
  • To decree these pictures ""miniatures'' obscures their importance, depth, range and variety.
  • Two political parties scrambled into existence after the decree.
  • Blowouts are prohibited by decree.
  • He has simply issued a set of decrees ordering a much-needed but equally controversial shake-up of his country's health service.
  • The decree was made public over the weekend and triggered immediate criticism from leading environmentalists.
  • They have come up with one so preposterous they might have been better off simply issuing a decree.
  • The new decree even condemns the possession of illegal wiretapping information.
British Dictionary definitions for decree


an edict, law, etc, made by someone in authority
an order or judgment of a court made after hearing a suit, esp in matrimonial proceedings See decree nisi, decree absolute
verb decrees, decreeing, decreed
to order, adjudge, or ordain by decree
Derived Forms
decreeable, adjective
decreer, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French decre, from Latin dēcrētum ordinance, from dēcrētus decided, past participle of dēcernere to determine; see decern
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for decree

early 14c., from Old French decre, variant of decret (12c., Modern French décret), from Latin decretum, neuter of decretus, past participle of decernere "to decree, decide, pronounce a decision," from de- (see de-) + cernere "to separate" (see crisis).


late 14c., from decree (n.). Related: Decreed; decreeing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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