[ob-i-ter dik-tuh m]
- an incidental or passing remark, opinion, etc.
- Law. an incidental or supplementary opinion by a judge in deciding a case, upon a matter not essential to the decision, and therefore not binding as precedent.
Origin of obiter dictum
1805–15; < Latin: (a) saying by the way
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- law an observation by a judge on some point of law not directly in issue in the case before him and thus neither requiring his decision nor serving as a precedent, but nevertheless of persuasive authority
- any comment, remark, or observation made in passing
Latin: something said in passing
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 obiter dictum
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper