Dictum

Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Dictum


Quick Summary of Dictum


A formal pronouncement from an authoritative source.




What is the dictionary definition of Dictum?

Dictionary Definition


n. Latin for “remark,” a comment by a judge in a decision or ruling which is not required to reach the decision, but may state a related legal principle as the judge understands it. While it may be cited in legal argument, it does not have the full force of a precedent (previous court decisions or interpretations) since the comment was not part of the legal basis for judgment. The standard counter-argument is: “it is only dictum (or dicta).

  1. An authoritative statement; a dogmatic saying; a maxim, an apothegm.
  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.

Full Definition of Dictum


A remark, statement or observation of a judge that is not a necessary part of the legal reasoning needed to reach the decision in a case. Although dictum may be cited in a legal argument, it is not binding as legal precedent, meaning that other courts are not required to accept it. For example, if a defendant ran a stop sign and caused a collision, the judge’s comments about the mechanical reliability of the particular make of the defendant’s car would not be necessary to reach a decision in the case, and would be considered dictum. In future cases, lower court judges are free to ignore the comments when reaching their decisions. Dictum is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase “obiter dictum,” which means a remark by the way, or an aside.


Synonyms For Dictum


pronouncement, say-so, obiter dictum

Cite Term


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https://payrollheaven.com/define/dictum/
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Dictum. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. September 24, 2021 https://payrollheaven.com/define/dictum/.
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Dictum. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. https://payrollheaven.com/define/dictum/ (accessed: September 24, 2021).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Dictum. PayrollHeaven.com. Retrieved September 24, 2021, from PayrollHeaven.com website: https://payrollheaven.com/define/dictum/

Definition Sources


Definitions for Dictum are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 27th April, 2020 | 7 Views.