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From Latin dictum (proverb, maxim), from dictus (having been said), perfect passive participle of dico (I say).



dictum (plural dicta or dictums)

  1. An authoritative statement; a dogmatic saying; a maxim, an apothegm.
    • 1949, Bruce Kiskaddon, George R. Stewart, Earth Abides
      ...a dictum which he had heard an economics professor once propound...
  2. A judicial opinion expressed by judges on points that do not necessarily arise in the case, and are not involved in it.
  3. The report of a judgment made by one of the judges who has given it.
  4. An arbitrament or award.




Etymology 1[edit]

Neuter form of dictus (said, spoken), past passive participle of dīcō (to say, to speak).


dictum n (genitive dictī); second declension

  1. a word, saying, something said
  2. proverb, maxim
  3. bon mot, witticism
    Synonym: dictērium
  4. verse, poetry
  5. a prophesy, prediction
  6. order, command
  7. promise, assurance

Second declension.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative dictum dicta
Genitive dictī dictōrum
Dative dictō dictīs
Accusative dictum dicta
Ablative dictō dictīs
Vocative dictum dicta
Related terms[edit]
Further reading[edit]
  • dictum in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • dictum in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • dictum in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • dictum in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • (ambiguous) a short, pointed witticism: breviter et commode dictum
    • (ambiguous) a witticism, bon mot: facete dictum
    • (ambiguous) a far-fetched joke: arcessitum dictum (De Or. 2. 63. 256)
    • (ambiguous) to make jokes on a person: dicta dicere in aliquem
    • (ambiguous) to obey a person's orders: dicto audientem esse alicui
    • (ambiguous) as I said above: ut supra (opp. infra) diximus, dictum est
    • (ambiguous) so much for this subject...; enough has been said on..: ac (sed) de ... satis dixi, dictum est

Etymology 2[edit]

See the etymology of the main entry.



  1. nominative neuter singular of dictus
  2. accusative masculine singular of dictus
  3. accusative neuter singular of dictus
  4. vocative neuter singular of dictus



  1. supine of dīcō



dictum m (plural dictums)

  1. dictum