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Origin of dictum

1660–70; < Latin: something said, a saying, command, word, noun use of neuter past participle of dīcere to say, speak; cf. index

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for dictum


noun plural -tums or -ta (-tə)
  1. a formal or authoritative statement or assertion; pronouncement
  2. a popular saying or maxim
  3. law See obiter dictum

Word Origin for dictum

C16: from Latin, from dīcere to say
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 dictum

1660s, from Latin dictum "thing said (a saying, bon-mot, prophecy, etc.), an order, command," neuter of dictus, past participle of dicere "say" (see diction). In legal use, a judge's expression of opinion which is not the formal resolution of a case.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper