1. An authoritative order having the force of law.
a. The judgment of a court of equity.
b. The judgment of a court.
3. Roman Catholic Church
a. A doctrinal or disciplinary act of an ecclesiastical authority.
b. An administrative act applying or interpreting articles of canon law.
v. de·creed, de·cree·ing, de·crees
To order, establish, or decide by decree: decreed that the two kingdoms would be united.
To issue a decree.
[Middle English decre, from Old French decret, from Latin dēcrētum, principle, decision, from neuter past participle of dēcernere, to decide : dē-, de- + cernere, to sift; see krei- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.