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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.
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for decrees
  • She was busy annotating reports, signing decrees, dictating her orders when the first pains suddenly made her wince.
  • No treasure in life beyond pals, his father decrees.
  • We ask that couriers be sent to all the departments to notify them of the decrees that you proclaim here.
  • He who keeps the decrees of the fathers, and both human and divine laws.
  • Cease to think that the decrees of the gods can be changed by prayers.
  • Parts of the code await ministerial decrees, some of which will be issued over the next six months.
  • In practice, a patchwork of royal decrees frames the way the monarchy functions.
  • But the legislation needed to implement it is contained in eight decrees, of which four have now been approved.
  • The majority of presidential decrees do not get implemented.
British Dictionary definitions for decrees


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 decrees



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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