views updated May 23 2018

e·dict / ˈēdikt/ • n. an official order or proclamation issued by a person in authority.DERIVATIVES: e·dic·tal / iˈdiktl/ adj.


views updated May 14 2018

edict Edict of Milan a proclamation made by the Emperor Constantine in 313 by which Christianity was given legal status within the Empire.
Edict of Nantes an edict issued by Henry IV of France in 1598, granting toleration to the Protestants (revoked by Louis XIV in 1685).


views updated Jun 11 2018


A decree or law of major import promulgated by a king, queen, or other sovereign of a government.

An edict can be distinguished from a public proclamation in that an edict puts a new statute into effect whereas a public proclamation is no more than a declaration of a law prior to its actual enactment.

Under roman law, an edict had different meanings. It was usually a mandate published under the authority of a ruler that commanded the observance of various rules or injunctions. Sometimes, however, an edict was a citation to appear before a judge.


views updated May 21 2018

edict XV. — L. ēdictum, sb. use of n. pp. of ēdīcere proclaim, f. E- + dīcere say, tell (cf. DICTION).