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1. the judicial decision in a litigated cause rendered by a court of equity;
2. the determination of a cause in courts of admiralty and probate. It is accurate to use the word judgment for a decision of a court of law, and decree from a court of equity, although the former term now includes both. CONSENT DECREE an agreement of the parties made under sanction of the court, not the result of a judicial determination, but merely agreement to be bound by certain stipulated facts.
DECREE NISI in English law, a provisional decree of divorce, which becomes absolute only after a specified interval, usually six months, during which parties have the opportunity to show cause why the decree should not become absolute.
FINAL DECREE one that ultimately disposes of every matter of contention between the parties and constitutes a bar to another action on the same subject matter between the same parties.
INTERLOCUTORY DECREE one made upon some point arising during the progress of the suit that does not determine finally the merits of the entire suit.
Source: Barron's Dictionary of Legal Terms, Steven H. Gifis, 5th Edition; © 2016