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
  1. noun
    a legally binding command or decision entered on the court record (as if issued by a court or judge)
    synonyms: 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
  2. verb
    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
  3. verb
    decide with authority
    “The King decreed that all firstborn males should be killed”
    synonyms: rule
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    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
Word Family

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