interdict

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in·ter·dict • n. / ˈintərˌdikt/ an authoritative prohibition: an interdict against marriage of those of close kin. ∎  (in the Roman Catholic Church) a sentence barring a person, or esp. a place, from ecclesiastical functions and privileges: a papal interdict. • v. / ˌintərˈdikt/ [tr.] 1. prohibit or forbid (something): society will never interdict sex. ∎  (interdict someone from) prohibit someone from (doing something): I have not been interdicted from consuming or holding alcoholic beverages. 2. intercept and prevent the movement of (a prohibited commodity or person): the police established roadblocks throughout the country for interdicting drugs. ∎  Mil. impede (an enemy force), esp. by aerial bombing of lines of communication or supply. DERIVATIVES: in·ter·dic·tion / ˌintərˈdikshən/ n.

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interdict is a papal prohibition which operated at various levels. A general interdict could be imposed only by the pope. Pope Alexander III placed Scotland under an interdict when William ‘the Lion’ rejected the papal nominee to the see of St Andrews in 1178, and Innocent III issued an interdict against England when John in 1206 refused to accept Stephen Langton as archbishop of Canterbury. The Scottish interdict ended in compromise after ten years, when the royal nominee died and the pope's candidate accepted the see of Dunkeld instead. Innocent's interdict forbade all ceremonies save baptism of infants and confessions for the dying: it operated from 1208 and John was excommunicated in 1209. John resisted strongly but in 1213, beset by baronial opposition, he surrendered completely, agreeing to hold his kingdom as the pope's vassal. The interdict was lifted in 1214.

J. A. Cannon

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interdict (eccl.) sentence debarring the faithful from church functions and privileges XIII; authoritative prohibition or decree XVII. ME. entredit — OF. — L. interdictum (to which the Eng. word was assim. XVI), sb. use of n. of pp. of interdīcere interpose by speech, forbid by decree, f. INTER- + dīcere say.
Hence vb. XIII.

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interdict in the Roman Catholic Church, a sentence debarring a person, or especially a place, from ecclesiastical functions and privileges; in English history, referring particularly to the papal interdict laid on England in 1208.

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interdict Instrument of punishment in the Roman Catholic Church whereby sacraments and clerical offices are withdrawn from a place. Bishops have this power over individual parishes, but the pope has much wider powers. Medieval popes sometimes placed an entire country under an interdict.

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Interdict. A punishment in the Roman Catholic Church akin to excommunication.

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