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Line breaks: de¦cree
Pronunciation: /dɪˈkriː

Definition of decree in English:


1An official order that has the force of law: the decree guaranteed freedom of assembly presidential decrees
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.
in Tsarist Russiaukase;
in Spanish-speaking countriespronunciamento
rare firman, decretal, irade, rescript
1.1 [mass noun] The 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 judgement or decision of certain law courts, especially in matrimonial cases.
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: [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, lay down, prescribe, pronounce, proclaim, ordain;
enact, adjudge, enjoin, 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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