One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural decrees nisiEnglish Law
An order by a court of law stating the date on which a marriage will end unless a good reason not to grant a divorce is produced.
- ‘The part-time television presenter was given a decree nisi at the High Court's family division last week.’
- ‘Last year, 3,347 decrees nisi were granted in the circuit court, with two-thirds of applications being taken by women.’
- ‘Braque remained Mrs Picasso long after the decree nisi had come through.’
- ‘Now that pension sharing has arrived, the court can split a pension on the decree nisi and hand part of it to one spouse.’
- ‘In normal circumstances divorce attracts little media publicity and in many countries the print media only carry it in the decree nisi column.’
Late 19th century: Latin nisi ‘unless’.
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