• synonyms


noun Law.
  1. a deceased person.
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Origin of decedent

1590–1600; < Latin dēcēdent- (stem of dēcēdēns) departing, withdrawing, present participle of dēcēdere. See decease, -ent
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for decedent

Historical Examples

  • Outside of this little group of States, the decedent may be tucked away informally underground and no one be the wiser for it.

    McClure's Magazine, Vol. XXXI, No. 3, July 1908.


  • Again, in settling the estate of the deceased person, personal property is always to be used first to pay the decedent's debts.

    Commercial Law

    Samuel Williston, Richard D. Currier, and Richard W. Hill

  • Any distribution of chattels would take place after all the decedent's debts were paid from the property.

  • Each party claimed a right to inherit the lands of the decedent, according to the laws.

  • The phrators of the decedent in a body were the mourners, and the members of the opposite phratry conducted the ceremonies.

    Ancient Society

    Lewis Henry Morgan

British Dictionary definitions for decedent


  1. law, mainly US a deceased person
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Word Origin

C16: from Latin dēcēdēns departing; see decease
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for decedent


1730, "dead person," mostly as a term in law, from Latin decedentem, present participle of decedere "to die, to depart" (see decease (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper