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Middle English entrediten, from Old French entredire (forbid), from Latin interdīcere, present active infinitive of interdīcō (prohibit, forbid), from inter (between) + dīcō (say), from Proto-Indo-European *deyḱ.


interdict (plural interdicts)

  1. A papal decree prohibiting the administration of the sacraments from a political entity under the power of a single person (e.g., a king or an oligarchy with similar powers). Extreme unction/Anointing of the Sick is excepted.
  2. (Scotland, law) An injunction.



interdict (third-person singular simple present interdicts, present participle interdicting, simple past and past participle interdicted)

  1. (transitive, Roman Catholicism) To exclude (someone or somewhere) from participation in church services; to place under a religious interdict. [from 13th c.]
    • Ayliffe
      An archbishop may not only excommunicate and interdict his suffragans, but his vicar general may do the same.
  2. (transitive) To forbid (an action or thing) by formal or legal sanction. [from 16th c.]
    • Milton
      Charged not to touch the interdicted tree.
  3. (transitive) To forbid (someone) from doing something. [from 16th c.]
  4. (transitive, US, military) To impede (an enemy); to interrupt or destroy (enemy communications, supply lines etc). [from 20th c.]
    • 1988, James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, Oxford 2004, p. 756:
      Grant did not cease his efforts to interdict Lee's supply lines and break through the defenses.

Related terms[edit]