Dictum Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Dictum, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Dictum?

n. Latin meaning “remark.” Refers to a judge’s comment in a ruling or decision which is not required to reach the decision, but may state the judge’s interpretation of a related legal principle. The remark does not have the full force of a precedent since it was not part of the legal basis for judgment, but may be cited in legal argument. The standard counter argument is: “it’s only dictum (or dicta).”