Definition of de dicto in English:

de dicto

Pronunciation /dā ˈdiktō/ /deɪ ˈdɪktoʊ/


  • Relating to the form of an assertion or expression itself, rather than any property of a thing it refers to.

    Compare with de re

    ‘By contrast, the de dicto account corresponds to a purely linguistic notion of vagueness.’
    • ‘As mentioned there, these sentences also appear to have readings on which they attribute general or de dicto beliefs to the women in question.’
    • ‘Clarke pointed out that the argument was guilty of confusing de dicto and de re necessity.’
    • ‘Despite his understanding of the de re / de dicto distinction, Abelard came to a more troubled end than Eason Jordan did.’
    • ‘And in doing so, he ran afoul of at least three kinds of ambiguity so common that they have conventional names: de re vs. de dicto, attributive vs. referential, and specific vs. generic.’


Latin, ‘from what is said’.