Definition of decree in English:


nounPlural decrees

  • 1An official order that has the force of law.

    ‘the decree guaranteed freedom of assembly’
    ‘presidential decrees’
    • ‘A presidential decree on the composition of each partner's stake has yet to be issued.’
    • ‘However, opposition groups outside the country claim that forced labor continues in the country despite the official decree.’
    • ‘Latin was reserved for official decrees or used by the elite.’
    • ‘Next Thursday, he will sign a presidential decree on the Anticorruption Action Plan.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the government will soon raise the luxury tax on automobiles following the issuance of a presidential decree signed on Oct.25.’
    • ‘While a custody decree is an injunctive order, the courts too often fail to apply the principles that are applicable to all other injunctions.’
    • ‘Under the decree, local officials have the power to place people under house arrest and demand that weapons be handed over.’
    • ‘Court orders and consent decrees are exempted; but voluntary actions by the school district are not.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘The government, made up of 16 ministers and seven secretaries of state was officially announced overnight in a presidential decree.’
    • ‘Teotihuacan is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is protected by a presidential decree.’
    • ‘He's the president who governed with the most number of presidential decrees.’
    • ‘These decrees forced companies to rehire or retire all those workers who had been sacked as a result of strikes or industrial action in the railway industry.’
    • ‘The ombudsman commission was established under a presidential decree in 2000 in a bid to help promote good governance.’
    • ‘But despite official denials, the decree is sweeping in its scope.’
    • ‘In early 1922 a decree ordered local soviets to organize the removal of all precious church items.’
    • ‘The protests come on the heals of a strike by interstate bus drivers last Wednesday over a government decree ordering them to give receipts.’
    • ‘He said that the bourse had received the green light to trade the gold but it still needed a presidential decree to begin the trading.’
    • ‘Under the decree, every official who usually travels by car must switch to traveling by motorbike on Fridays.’
    order, edict, command, commandment, mandate, proclamation, dictum, fiat, promulgation, precept
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1mass noun The issuing of a decree.
      ‘the king ruled by decree’
      • ‘The party ruled by decree until January 1986 when a military coup forced them out of office.’
      • ‘Rather than seeing the fruits of their labours and the promise of profits to come, they will see a lifetime's work taken away from them by the chief vet and enforced by government decree.’
      • ‘That government, headed by a junta that scrapped the old laws and ruled by decree, enjoyed strong support from Europe, the United States and Canada, and much of the rest of the world.’
      • ‘As a remnant of royal decree, Orders In Council would thus be discarded.’
      • ‘The parliamentary system broke down and the Austrian Minister-President Count von Stürgkh ruled by decree between 1911 and 1914.’
      • ‘The president could also declare a state of emergency and rule by emergency decree.’
      • ‘He was appointed Professor Extraordinary of that subject by decree of the Head of State issued on 22 July 1922.’
      • ‘He has been governing by emergency decree under the appropriate provisions of the Third Republic Constitution.’
      • ‘It has ruled by decree since. In 1990, pro-democracy parties won over 80% of the vote during a free election.’
      • ‘The " Westminster Constitution " of 1968 was suspended by royal decree in 1973.’
      • ‘Since 2001, his majesty has ruled by decree, issuing more than 160 ‘temporary laws’ pending parliament's approval.’
      • ‘The military-dominated government then suspended the constitution, dissolved the legislature, and formed a regime that ruled by decree.’
      • ‘New offences against the state could be " created " by government decree.’
    2. 1.2 A judgement or decision of certain law courts, especially in matrimonial cases.
      • ‘The Public Prosecutor appealed, but by a decree of 21 October 1994 the Court of Appeal rejected the appeal and found the defendant not guilty.’
      • ‘One requires that a couple live for one year pursuant to a decree of separation.’
      • ‘But in this case, the question was instead one of interpreting the consent decree, much as the court would interpret a contract between two parties.’
      • ‘In March 1999, the High Court refused a decree of nullity to a man whose wife had an affair with her employer shortly after the marriage.’
      • ‘First of all, when granting a divorce decree, all the judges must instruct parents to be meaningfully involved with child care.’
      • ‘The applicant wishes to obtain a decree of judicial separation.’
      • ‘A dependent adult supplement is no longer available on obtaining a decree of divorce.’
      • ‘In 1981, eight nullity decrees were granted.’
      • ‘I note that the Husband did not make any allegation of non-consummation in his cross petition nor did he seek a decree of nullity.’
      • ‘As a result, the wife applied for and was granted a decree of nullity.’
      • ‘A decree of nullity has wide implications for the couple and their children.’
      • ‘Thus, the Court of Appeals sent the consent decree back to the District Court but to a different judge.’
      • ‘North Carolina refused to recognize the Nevada divorce decrees.’
      • ‘The wife opposed the divorce on religious grounds and sought a decree of judicial separation instead.’
      • ‘In July 2000, the wife issued proceedings in the Irish High Court claiming a decree of judicial separation and other orders.’
      • ‘The Court of Appeal's answer was affirmative: it was enough that, at the time of the pronouncement of the decree, the marriage would have been said to have a valid existence.’
      • ‘Once the divorce decree is entered, unless we can change the law, Texas takes the attitude that you're barred.’
      • ‘Judge Jackson was appointed to sign the consent decree, which he did in August 1995.’
      • ‘The easiest way to change your name back is through your divorce decree.’
      judgement, verdict, adjudication, ruling, rule, resolution, arbitration, decision, conclusion
      View synonyms

verbPlural decreed, decreeing, decrees

[with object]
  • Order (something) by decree.

    with clause ‘the president decreed that the military was to be streamlined’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The government decreed that cases of political violence would be tried henceforth by military courts.’
    • ‘The government has decreed that importing second-hand cars would damage the local market.’
    • ‘The more contentious of the two is the Women's Reservation Bill, which decrees a one-third reservation of parliamentary seats for women.’
    • ‘They didn't manage it and the courts have decreed the Korean chaps forfeit the money.’
    • ‘The new Nazi government decreed a forced sale, for a pittance, of the main Alt Aussee house.’
    • ‘The Colonial government decreed that such people not be permitted to leave the province.’
    • ‘A six year tax exemption was decreed to peasants who occupied and worked farms abandoned in the Thirty Years War.’
    • ‘In a move to whip up popular support, he decreed the Union to be abolished.’
    • ‘But the executive has decided otherwise, and has decreed that smoking should be banned in all public places.’
    • ‘For 91 years, Nebraska state law decreed that black-tailed prairie dogs be eradicated annually.’
    • ‘At the same time an amnesty was decreed for all those who had fought for freedom under the Ancien Régime.’
    • ‘Authorities decreed a 90-day period before foot and mouth restrictions could be lifted.’
    • ‘Trouble brewed unexpectedly when Lieutenant-Governor William Hobson decided to investigate the legal ramifications of such a major grab, decreeing any land sales made after 30th January 1840 to be null and void.’
    • ‘Finally, it is also decreed that the crimes of rape and attempted rape will be severely punished.’
    • ‘The government has decreed a sharp rise in taxation for the multinational oil companies.’
    • ‘The General was sentenced to 46 years in prison, the longest sentence decreed by the court.’
    • ‘As a result governments long ago decreed fluid milk sold to the public must be pasteurised.’
    order, command, rule, dictate, lay down, prescribe, pronounce, proclaim, ordain
    View synonyms


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’.