An ordinance is a local law. Many cities have recently passed ordinances making it illegal to smoke indoors or mandatory for pet owners to curb their dogs.

Ordinance can also mean the act of making someone a priest. In both senses, it means a direction or command coming down from a higher authority or an official conference. If you break an ordinance, you'll likely be fined rather than jailed. Remember that an ordinance is a rule meant to keep things in order.

Definitions of ordinance
  1. noun
    an authoritative rule
    synonyms: regulation
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    game law
    a regulation intended to manage or preserve game animals
    age limit
    regulation establishing the maximum age for doing something or holding some position
    the regulation of weights and measures of articles offered for sale
    speed limit
    regulation establishing the top speed permitted on a given road
    type of:
    prescript, rule
    prescribed guide for conduct or action
  2. noun
    a statute enacted by a city government
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    type of:
    legislative act, statute
    an act passed by a legislative body
  3. noun
    the act of ordaining; the act of conferring (or receiving) holy orders
    synonyms: ordination
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    laying on of hands
    laying hands on a person's head to invoke spiritual blessing in Christian ordination
    type of:
    appointment, assignment, designation, naming
    the act of putting a person into a non-elective position
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