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A.Word.A.Day--obiter dictum

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

Listen to Anu Garg on BBC Radio.

This week's theme: words about words.

obiter dictum (OB-i-tuhr DIK-tuhm) noun, plural obiter dicta

1. A passing comment.

2. An observation or opinion by a judge that is incidental to the case in question, and not binding as a precedent.

[From Latin, literally, saying by the way.]

See more usage examples of obiter dictum in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)

"'Abstract Expressionism was being deployed as a cold war weapon,' (Frances Stonor) Saunders jauntily asserts. ... Obiter dicta like Saunders's pronouncement above highlight her irreducible problem." Josef Joffe; America's Secret Weapon; New York Times Book Review; Apr 23, 2000.

X-Bonus

If you devote your life to seeking revenge, first dig two graves. -Confucius, philosopher and teacher (c. 551-478 BCE)

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