Dictum Legal Meaning and Definition

Here is a simplified definition of the legal term Dictum.

Dictum (noun): A Latin term translating to "remark." It is used in law to refer to a comment or observation made by a judge during a legal decision or ruling. However, this comment is not necessary for reaching the decision, and may represent the judge's interpretation of an associated legal principle. Even though a dictum does not carry the full weight of a precedent (since it does not form the legal foundation for judgement), it can be referred to during legal arguments. A common counter argument to this could be: "it's only dictum (or dicta)."