Meaning of obiter in English:


Pronunciation /ˈɒbɪtə/


  • In passing.

    ‘he stated, obiter, that in some circumstances prohibitive cost might justify a discriminatory procedure’
    • ‘Endowed as he was with superb powers of criticism, an impressively hard-headed acumen, he strewed his letters with witty, biting obiter scripts.’
    • ‘These points are, of course, strictly obiter, since these conspiracies would in any case have been protected by State immunity, since they did not constitute international crimes against humanity.’
    • ‘The only other issue, my Lord, is that I appreciate that since this is obiter it is unlikely on its own to attract your Lordship to the question of assessment of damages.’
    • ‘However, this view is obiter and tentatively expressed.’
    • ‘The less courageous would merely apply the standard the Court of Appeal said should be applied - obiter or not.’
    • ‘The issue was the subject of obiter observations in two later cases.’


  • Made or said in passing.

    • ‘in his own obiter remarks, he has taken that proposition seemingly much further’


  • short for obiter dictum

    ‘In 50 years time barristers will be putting in submissions in this Court that refer to our decision as the S134 obiter.’
    • ‘The best example really is the last of his obiter.’
    • ‘We cannot do anything else, except apply the obiter of the two places where anything is said about public works.’
    • ‘The ratio was correct and even the obiter, I would say, was absolutely correct.’
    • ‘In other words, the reasons relate to the reasons for its disposition, not to the obiter.’


Latin, originally as the phrase ob itur ‘by the way’.