Look carefully! A decree isn't something you get when you graduate. That one little letter change makes it something else altogether: a legally binding command or the announcement of such a thing.

If you go back far enough, a decree referred to a decision handed down by the Roman emperor. In more modern usage, a divorce decree is the document issued by a court that terminates a marriage. And if you want to go out with someone on a date, but things keep preventing you from having the chance to ask, you could say that fate did not decree it to be so.

Definitions of decree

n a legally binding command or decision entered on the court record (as if issued by a court or judge)

edict, fiat, order, rescript
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consent decree
an agreement between two parties that is sanctioned by the court; for example, a company might agree to stop certain questionable practices without admitting guilt
an order that after a specific time certain activities (as being outside on the streets) are prohibited
decree nisi
a decree issued on a first petition for divorce; becomes absolute at some later date
imperial decree
a decree issued by a sovereign ruler
judicial separation, legal separation
a judicial decree regulating the rights and responsibilities of a married couple living apart
an edict that has been publicly posted
ban, prohibition, proscription
a decree that prohibits something
a judicial order forbidding some action until an event occurs or the order is lifted
bull, papal bull
a formal proclamation issued by the pope (usually written in antiquated characters and sealed with a leaden bulla)
an edict of the Russian tsar
pragmatic, pragmatic sanction
an imperial decree that becomes part of the fundamental law of the land
stay of execution
an order whereby a judgment is precluded from being executed for a specific period of time
an order that bans something
cease and desist order, enjoining, enjoinment, injunction
(law) a judicial remedy issued in order to prohibit a party from doing or continuing to do a certain activity
interdict, interdiction
a court order prohibiting a party from doing a certain activity
Type of:
act, enactment
a legal document codifying the result of deliberations of a committee or society or legislative body

v issue a decree

“The King only can decree
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issue an order
enact, ordain
order by virtue of superior authority; decree
decree or determine beforehand
decree or ordain
designate, destine, doom, fate
decree or designate beforehand
enact again
legislate, pass
make laws, bills, etc. or bring into effect by legislation
Type of:
state emphatically and authoritatively

v decide with authority

“The King decreed that all firstborn males should be killed”
override, overrule, overthrow, overturn, reverse
rule against
rule in, rule out
include or exclude by determining judicially or in agreement with rules
Type of:
decide, determine, make up one's mind
reach, make, or come to a decision about something

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