Skip to main content

Obiter Dictum

OBITER DICTUM

[Latin, By the way.] Words of an opinion entirely unnecessary for the decision of the case. A remark made or opinion expressed by a judge in a decision upon a cause, "by the way", that is, incidentally or collaterally, and not directly upon the question before the court or upon a point not necessarily involved in the determination of the cause, or introduced by way of illustration, or analogy or argument. Such are not binding as precedent.

cross-references

Court Opinion.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Obiter Dictum." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Obiter Dictum." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/obiter-dictum

"Obiter Dictum." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Retrieved September 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/obiter-dictum

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.