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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce ordinance (audio)

Dictionary definition of ordinance

A type of law or regulation that is passed by a local government, such as a city or a county.
"The city passed a new ordinance to ban smoking in public places."

Detailed meaning of ordinance

An ordinance is It is a legally binding rule that is created to govern specific aspects of life within a municipality. Ordinances can cover a wide range of topics, such as zoning, building codes, public health and safety, and more. They are usually enforced by the local government and are typically less formal than state or federal laws. Ordinances can be temporary or permanent, and can be created to address specific issues or problems within a community. They are often passed by a city council or a board of supervisors and can be repealed or amended by the same governing body. The term can also be used to describe an authoritative order or command, such as a military ordinance.

Example sentences containing ordinance

1. The city council passed a new ordinance to regulate parking.
2. Violating the noise ordinance can result in a fine.
3. The local government issued an ordinance banning smoking in public parks.
4. The town's ordinance requires all dogs to be leashed in public.
5. The ordinance prohibits overnight parking on the street.
6. The homeowner's association has strict ordinances regarding property maintenance.

History and etymology of ordinance

The noun 'ordinance' finds its etymological roots in the Latin word 'ordinare,' which means 'to arrange' or 'to order.' In the context of law and governance, 'ordinare' referred to the act of establishing rules and regulations in a systematic and orderly manner. As this Latin term evolved, it gave rise to the Old French word 'ordenance,' which denoted authoritative decrees or commands. In English, 'ordinance' emerged as a term used to describe a type of law or regulation that is passed by a local government, such as a city or a county. This etymology underscores the notion that ordinances are laws put in place to bring order and regulation to specific local jurisdictions, reflecting their historical origins in the act of arranging or ordering legal matters at the local level.

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Further usage examples of ordinance

1. The city passed an ordinance to restrict the use of plastic bags.
2. The noise ordinance ensures quiet hours during the night.
3. The new zoning ordinance aims to promote sustainable development.
4. The ordinance requires businesses to obtain permits for outdoor signage.
5. The health department enforces food safety ordinances in restaurants.
6. The town council debated the proposed ordinance for hours.
7. The ordinance regulates the height of fences in residential areas.
8. The neighborhood association created an ordinance to control excessive littering.
9. The city implemented an ordinance to protect historical landmarks.
10. The noise ordinance exempts certain events with prior approval.
11. The ordinance limits the number of pets allowed per household.
12. The environmental ordinance aims to protect natural habitats.
13. The zoning ordinance divides the city into different land-use zones.
14. The city council plans to revise the ordinance to address public concerns.



law, suggestion, guideline, recommendation


Suffix -ance, Authority and Control, Choices and Decisions, Dialogue and Articulation, Compliance and Regulation, Governance and Authority, Criminal Justice and Penalties, Legal Terms and Concepts

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