1 : a saying that is widely accepted on its own merits
2 : a condensed but memorable saying embodying some important fact of experience that is taken as true by many people
3 : (law) the determination by a court of competent jurisdiction on matters submitted to it
4 : the reason for a court's judgment (as opposed to the decision itself)
5 : a legally binding command or decision entered on the court record (as if issued by a court or judge)
6 : an authoritative declaration