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dictum
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Definition a short saying intended to make a point
in various senses, including:
  • a popular saying — such as "Nothing is certain but death and taxes."
  • a formal declaration from a respected source — such as the Constitution's statement that "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech"
  • a non-binding remark in a judge's opinion — short for obiter dictum
  • She is fond of quoting Ken Kesey's dictum: "You can count the seeds in the apple, but you can't count the apples in the seed."
dictum = saying
  • It brings to mind the ancient physician's dictum: "First do no harm."
  • dictum = saying
  • Art is on the side of the oppressed. Think before you shudder at the simplistic dictum and its heretical definition of the freedom of art. For if art is freedom of the spirit, how can it exist within the oppressors?
    Edith Wharton
  • dictum = saying
  • There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start with, no!
    Ray Bradbury  --  Fahrenheit 451
  • dictum = formal pronouncement
  • So Simon, having forgotten his teacher's dictum on the possession of human chattels, bought three slaves and with their aid established a homestead on the banks of the Alabama River some forty miles above Saint Stephens.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • dictum = saying
  • "You gotta make me first," I said, remembering Atticus's blessed dictum.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • dictum = saying
  • Thus the dicta No Crawford Minds His Own Business, Every Third Merriweather Is Morbid, The Truth Is Not in the Delafields, All the Bufords Walk Like That, were simply guides to daily living: never take a check from a Delafield without a discreet call to the bank; Miss Maudie Atkinson's shoulder stoops because she was a Buford; if Mrs. Grace Merriweather sips gin out of Lydia E. Pinkham bottles it's nothing unusual— her mother did the same.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • dicta = sayings
  • Tag seemed everywhere, shooing the curious away from us, turning cars around that violated his single-file parking dictum.
    Homer Hickam  --  October Sky
  • Beware, the rock changes'-an old dictum of ours...... And nowadays the rock changes very fast indeed."
    Christopher Paolini  --  Eragon
  • The delicacy of his position here, alone and dependent upon the Convention and the dictum familia of the Great Houses, fretted him.
    Frank Herbert  --  Dune
  • Apart from her studies Anne expanded socially, for Marilla, mindful of the Spencervale doctor's dictum, no longer vetoed occasional outings.
    Lucy Maud Montgomery  --  Anne Of Green Gables
  • He wanted to, but the dictum was too strong , just too strong.
    Stephen King  --  Misery
  • In true religion is there some dictum That says it's okay to make an heir your victim?
    Jean-Baptiste Poquelin Moliere  --  Tartuffe
  • The dictum that Science and its offspring, technology, are "value free," that is, "quality free," has got to go.
    Robert M. Pirsig  --  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • '* * He has forgotten his dictum about truth even in jest.
    Johann Wyss  --  The Swiss Family Robinson
  • Germaine Tailleferre one can only repeat Dr Johnson's dictum concerning, a woman preacher, transposed into terms of music.
    Virginia Woolf  --  A Room of One's Own
  • 'Know thyself,' that's my dictum.
    John Gardner  --  Grendel
  • Every afternoon, whatever the weather, he stands in a field bawling state-sown dicta: "Prosperity depends on ferocity.
    Anthony Doerr  --  All the Light We Cannot See
  • I have heard it said another way, as a dictum: "He who is less than just is less than man."
    John Howard Griffin  --  Black Like Me
  • A huge, red-faced young man of inexhaustible energy, Chase refused to accept the dictum that Maryland's delegates must vote down independence.
    David McCullough  --  John Adams

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