1. An authoritative command or order.
2. A custom or practice established by long usage.
3. A Christian rite, especially the Eucharist.
4. A statute or regulation, especially one enacted by a municipal government.
[Middle English ordinaunce, from Old French ordenance, from Medieval Latin ōrdinantia, from Latin ōrdināns, ōrdinant-, present participle of ōrdināre, to ordain, from ōrdō, ōrdin-, order; see ar- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.