Obiter Dictum

Legal Definition and Related Resources of Obiter dictum

Meaning of Obiter dictum

See Dictum.

United States Constitutional Meaning of Obiter Dictum

Any words in a court’s opinion that are not required for the decision of the case, and that are therefore, in theory, not binding as precedent. The term is often misleadingly abbreviated to “dictum” or to its plural, “dicta.”

Latin Definition

said by the way

Other Latin Constitutional Definitions in the Law Dictionary

  • dictum
  • in personam
  • in rem
  • ultra vires
  • per curiam
  • amicus curiae
  • ex post facto
  • ex parte
  • ex relatione
  • nolo contendere
  • de facto
  • de jure
  • in forma pauperis
  • in re
  • ratio decidendi
  • obiter dictum
  • seriatim
  • certiorari
  • stare decisis
  • subpoena
  • mandamus
  • habeas corpus


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This definition of Obiter Dictum is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

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Obiter Dictum in the law of the United States

Obiter Dictum: Related U.S. Resources

See Also

Precedence (in the U.S. Legal Encyclopedia) Ratio Decidendi (in the U.S. Legal Encyclopedia).

Obiter dictum in Law Enforcement

Main Entry: Law Enforcement in the Legal Dictionary. This section provides, in the context of Law Enforcement, a partial definition of obiter dictum.

“Obiter Dictum” in Maritime Law

Note: There is more information on maritime/admiralty law here.

The following is a definition of “Obiter Dictum”, produced by Tetley, in the context of admiralty law: (“a saying by the way”), referring to a finding of law in a decision where that finding was based on issues not properly before the court. It is an opinion expressed by a court upon a question of law which is not necessary to the decision of the case before it. The opposite of “obiter dictum” is “ratio decidendi” (see (see this legal term in this law dictionary)).


See Also

  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Police
  • Law Enforcement Agency

Further Reading


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