Dictum Law and Legal Definition

Dictum is a statement, comment, or observation in a judicial opinion that is unnecessary to the decision in the case. Unlike the holding (final determination) in a case, dictum is not binding on other courts deciding similar issues. However, sometimes dictum is so widely recognized by other courts that it is adopted into an opinion as though it were binding authority on a matter, and in such a case it is referred to as "considered dictum". Although dictum may be cited in legal argument, it does not have the binding force of a precedent (previous court decisions or interpretations) since the remark was not part of the legal basis for the decision.