1. a formal and authoritative order, especially one having the force of law: a presidential decree.
  2. Law. a judicial decision or order.
  3. Theology. one of the eternal purposes of God, by which events are foreordained.

verb (used with or without object), de·creed, de·cree·ing.

  1. to command, ordain, or decide by decree.


  1. an edict, law, etc, made by someone in authority
  2. an order or judgment of a court made after hearing a suit, esp in matrimonial proceedingsSee decree nisi, decree absolute

verb decrees, decreeing or decreed

  1. to order, adjudge, or ordain by decree

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.

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