Definition of decretal in English:



  • A papal decree concerning a point of canon law.

    • ‘Boniface VIII also issued a supplement of decretals that were promulgated in 1298 and attached to the compilation of Gregory.’
    • ‘But those writings were condemned as spurious in the decretals attributed to Pope Gelasius at the end of the fifth century.’
    • ‘This format became standard for the codification of decretals until 1917.’
    • ‘On September 27, 1996, the trial court promulgated a Decision in favor of the private respondent and against the petitioners, the decretal portion of which reads as follows.’
    • ‘Elsewhere on my site there is an example of a decretal from such an early collection.’
    • ‘The new collection of decretals had an immediate diffusion and between 1250 and 1350 many copies were produced in the universities of northern Italy and France.’
    • ‘To Boniface's own decretals were later appended the Constitutiones of Boniface's immediate successor, Clement V, the Extravagantes of John XXII, and finally, in 1500-1503, the Extravagantes Communes.’
    decree, order, command, commandment, mandate, proclamation, pronouncement, dictum, dictate, fiat, promulgation, precept
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  • Of the nature of a decree.

    • ‘The presidential decretal law no.33 of 1992 regarded salaries and rewards for armed forces and security.’
    • ‘Findings of fact and conclusions of law that do not contain decretal language are not appealable.’


Middle English: from late Latin decretale, neuter of decretalis (adjective), from Latin decret- ‘decided’, from the verb decernere.