Word of the Day Archive
Monday August 31, 2009
1. A harsh settlement unilaterally imposed on a defeated party.
2. An authoritative decree or order.
Whether with the rapid reaction force or with the Bosnian government, the United States should vigorously support efforts to lift the siege of Sarajevo and help to piece back together a contiguous territory so that the Bosnian government can come to the bargaining table free of a Serbian diktat.
-- "Why Bosnia matters", Commonweal, July 14, 1995
And it would begin to encroach on another, more treasured, freedom: the right of the networks to broadcast what they choose independent of government diktat.
-- "Back to the smoke-filled room?", The Economist, February 25, 1995
Other important figures in the game said the problems would be better dealt with voluntarily than by diktat.
-- Denis Campbell, "Fifa back Vieira", The Guardian, September 22, 2002
Diktat comes from German, from Latin dictatum, neuter past participle of dictare, "to dictate." It is related to dictator.