pertaining to, of the nature of, or containing a decree or decrees.


a papal decree authoritatively determining some point of doctrine or church law.
Decretals, the body or collection of such decrees as a part of the canon law.

Nearby words

  1. decrepitate,
  2. decrepitude,
  3. decresc.,
  4. decrescendo,
  5. decrescent,
  6. decretals,
  7. decretist,
  8. decretive,
  9. decretory,
  10. decretum

Origin of decretal

1350–1400; Middle English < Old French < Late Latin dēcrētālis fixed by decree, equivalent to dēcrēt(um) decree + -ālis -al1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for decretals

British Dictionary definitions for decretals


pl n

RC Church a compilation of decretals, esp the authoritative compilation (Liber Extra) of Gregory IX (1234) which forms part of the Corpus Juris Canonici



RC Church a papal edict on doctrine or church law


of or relating to a decretal or a decree
Derived Formsdecretalist, noun

Word Origin for decretal

C15: from Old French, from Late Latin dēcrētālis; see decree

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