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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English (ca. 1300), from Old French ordenance (Modern French ordonnance) "decree, command", from Middle Latin ordinantia, from ordinans, the present participle of Latin ordinare "put in order" (whence ordain).



ordinance (plural ordinances)

  1. A local law (US)
  2. An edict or decree, authoritative order.
    1. (England) Prior to the Third English Civil War, a decree of Parliament.
    2. (Britain, pre-1992 universities, Commonwealth of Nations) Detailed legislation that translates the broad principles of the university's charter and statutes into practical effect.
    3. (Hong Kong) A law enacted by the Hong Kong Legislative Council.[1]
    4. (India) A temporary law promulgated by the President of India on the recommendation of the Union Cabinet.
  3. A religious practice or ritual prescribed by the church.

Usage notes[edit]

This word is sometimes confused with ordnance, or military weaponry.

Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ Law Drafting Division, Department of Justice (2012) , chapter 1.1, in Drafting Legislation in Hong Kong — A Guide to Styles and Practices[1], 1.1.1, page 1: “Hong Kong legislation consists of laws enacted by the Legislative Council (LegCo), which are known as “Ordinances”...”