From Middle English entrediten, from Old French entredire (forbid), from Latin interdīcō (prohibit, forbid), from inter- (between) + dīcō (say), from Proto-Indo-European *deyḱ-.


  • (General American) IPA(key): (noun) /ˈɪntɚdɪkt/, (verb) /ɪntɚˈdɪkt/
  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): (noun) /ˈɪntədɪkt/, (verb) /ɪntəˈdɪkt/
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  • Hyphenation: in‧ter‧dict


interdict (plural interdicts)

  1. A papal decree prohibiting the administration of the sacraments from a political entity under the power of a single person (e.g., a king or an oligarchy with similar powers). Extreme unction/Anointing of the Sick is excepted.
  2. (Scotland, law) An injunction.



interdict (third-person singular simple present interdicts, present participle interdicting, simple past and past participle interdicted)

  1. (transitive, Roman Catholicism) To exclude (someone or somewhere) from participation in church services; to place under a religious interdict. [from 13th c.]
    • 1726, John Ayliffe, Parergon juris canonici Anglicani
      An archbishop [may not only] excommunicate and interdict his suffragans, but his Vicar-General may also do the same.
  2. (transitive) To forbid (an action or thing) by formal or legal sanction. [from 16th c.]
  3. (transitive) To forbid (someone) from doing something. [from 16th c.]
  4. (transitive, US, military) To impede (an enemy); to interrupt or destroy (enemy communications, supply lines etc). [from 20th c.]
    • 1988, James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, Oxford 2004, p. 756:
      Grant did not cease his efforts to interdict Lee's supply lines and break through the defenses.

Related termsEdit