an authoritative rule or law; a decree or command.
a public injunction or regulation: a city ordinance against excessive horn blowing.
something believed to have been ordained, as by a deity or destiny.
  1. an established rite or ceremony.
  2. a sacrament.
  3. the communion.

Nearby words

  1. orders, holy,
  2. ordinal,
  3. ordinal number,
  4. ordinal numbers,
  5. ordinal scale,
  6. ordinand,
  7. ordinariate,
  8. ordinarily,
  9. ordinary,
  10. ordinary differential equation

Origin of ordinance

1275–1325; Middle English ordinaunce (< Old French ordenance) < Medieval Latin ordinantia, derivative of Latin ordinant- (stem of ordināns), present participle of ordināre to arrange. See ordination, -ance

Related formspre·or·di·nance, noun

Can be confusedordinance ordnance ordonnance

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ordinance

British Dictionary definitions for ordinance



an authoritative regulation, decree, law, or practice

Word Origin for ordinance

C14: from Old French ordenance, from Latin ordināre to set in order

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 ordinance



c.1300, "an authoritative direction, decree, or command" (narrower or more transitory than a law), from Old French ordenance (Modern French ordonnance) or directly from Medieval Latin ordinantia, from Latin ordinantem (nominative ordinans), present participle of ordinare "put in order" (see ordain). By early 14c. senses had emerged of "arrangement in ranks or rows" (especially in order of battle), also "warlike provisions, equipment" (a sense now in ordnance).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper