Word of the Day Archive
Wednesday September 19, 2001
dictum \DIK-tuhm\ , noun:
1. An authoritative statement; a formal pronouncement.
2. Law) A judicial opinion expressed by judges on points that do not necessarily arise in the case, and are not involved in it.
I have taken to heart Francis Bacon's dictum that "truth emerges more readily from error than from confusion".
-- Donald B. Calne, Within Reason: Rationality and Human Behavior
As an editor, Rahv took seriously Trotsky's dictum that "Art can become a strong ally of revolution only in so far as it remains faithful to itself."
-- David Laskin, Partisans
What happened to Horace's dictum that literature should entertain and instruct?
-- Scott Stossel, "Right Here Goes", The Atlantic, April 1996
Dictum is literally "a thing said," from the past participle of Latin dicere, "to say."