Definition of decree in English:


Syllabification: de·cree
Pronunciation: /diˈkrē


  • 1An official order issued by a legal authority.
    More example sentences
    • However, the announcement must be followed by the promulgation of a presidential decree before it becomes official policy.
    • Soldiers on the distant outposts of empire quickly learned that official decrees and restraining orders took months to arrive and counted for little ‘on the ground’.
    • While a custody decree is an injunctive order, the courts too often fail to apply the principles that are applicable to all other injunctions.
    order, edict, command, commandment, mandate, proclamation, dictum, fiat; law, bylaw, statute, act
    formal ordinance
  • 1.1The issuing of a decree: the king ruled by decree
    More example sentences
    • Since 2001, his majesty has ruled by decree, issuing more than 160 ‘temporary laws’ pending parliament's approval.
    • It has ruled by decree since. In 1990, pro-democracy parties won over 80% of the vote during a free election.
    • The military-dominated government then suspended the constitution, dissolved the legislature, and formed a regime that ruled by decree.
  • 1.2A judgment or decision of certain law courts.
    More example sentences
    • The applicant wishes to obtain a decree of judicial separation.
    • First of all, when granting a divorce decree, all the judges must instruct parents to be meaningfully involved with child care.
    • In July 2000, the wife issued proceedings in the Irish High Court claiming a decree of judicial separation and other orders.

verb (decrees, decreeing, decreed)

[with object] Back to top  
  • Order (something) by decree: the government decreed a ban on any contact with the guerrillas [with clause]: the president decreed that the military was to be streamlined
    More example sentences
    • But the executive has decided otherwise, and has decreed that smoking should be banned in all public places.
    • Within a few hours he had issued Directive No. 25, decreeing Yugoslavia's obliteration and assigning secondary roles in its conquest to Italy and Hungary.
    • California passed a law 20 years ago decreeing a proportion of cars would have to be electric powered.
    order, command, rule, dictate, pronounce, proclaim, ordain; direct, decide, determine


Middle English (denoting an edict issued by an ecclesiastical council to settle a point of doctrine or discipline): from Old French decre, decret, from Latin decretum 'something decided', from decernere 'decide'.

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