Meaning of obiter dictum in English:

obiter dictum

nounplural noun obiter dicta/ˈdɪktə/

  • 1Law
    A judge's expression of opinion uttered in court or in a written judgement, but not essential to the decision and therefore not legally binding as a precedent.

    ‘This Court will be very busy if we grant special leave in respect of judges' obiter dicta.’
    • ‘Remarks about equitable leases were therefore merely obiter dicta; and although they pointed the way to a solution of this problem, they have not been taken up in any later decision.’
    • ‘That submission runs into the authority of a number of final courts in the world and obiter dicta of this Court.’
    • ‘I am in no doubt that the passage was part of the decision and was not obiter dicta.’
    • ‘The case decided by the making of orders which are supported by chaotic or contradictory reasoning is not an authority - it lacks a ratio decidendi - but the obiter dicta of particular judges may have considerable influence.’
    whispered remark, confidential remark, stage whisper
    1. 1.1An incidental remark.
      ‘The Maxims were collected after Napoleon's death from what editor David Chandler rightfully terms his obiter dicta, casual remarks, observations, or comments that were culled from a vast mass of documents, letters, and memoirs.’
      • ‘Rather than trying to capture an argument whose start I missed, which depends on knowledge of philosophers I have not read, I'll note a couple of obiter dicta: bq…’
      • ‘Mr. Smith treats certain of my remarks about Kierkegaard as though they were obiter dicta, insouciantly tossed off without context or explanation.’
      • ‘There it is - the obiter dictum that bespeaks the current state of Native American education, which is still deeply troubled after more than a hundred years of struggle.’
      • ‘Within the private sector, few would quarrel with the International Monetary Fund's obiter dicta about wage restraint being necessary for competitiveness.’
      remark, comment, statement, utterance, pronouncement, declaration


obiter dictum

/ˌɒbɪtə ˈdɪktəm/ /ˌəʊbɪtə ˈdɪktəm/


Latin obiter ‘in passing’ + dictum ‘something that is said’.