A public command or ordinance by the sovereign power; the proclamation of a law made by an absolute authority, as if by the very act of announcement; a decree; as, the edicts of the Roman emperors; the edicts of the French monarch. "It stands as an edict in destiny." (Shak) Edict of Nantes, an edict issued by Henry IV. (A. D. 1598), giving toleration to Protestants. Its revocation by Louis XIV. (A. D. 1685) was followed by terrible persecutions and the expatriation of thousands of French Protestants.

Synonyms: Decree, proclamation, law, ordinance, statute, rule, order, manifesti, command. See Law.

Origin: L. Edictum, fr. Edicere, edictum, to declare, proclaim; e out + dicere to say: cf. F. Edit. See Diction.

(01 Mar 1998)

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