obiter dictum

"statement in passing," a judge's expression of opinion not regarded as binding or decisive, Latin, literally "something said incidentally;" from obiter "by the way" + dictum in the legal sense "a judge's expression of opinion which is not the formal resolution of a case or determination of the court."

Obiter dicta, legal dicta ... uttered by the way (obiter), not upon the point or question pending, as if turning aside for the time from the main topic of the case to collateral subjects. [Century Dictionary]

Latin obiter is from ob "in front of, toward" (see ob-) + iter "journey" (from PIE root *ei- "to go"). Klein's sources, however, say it is ob with the suffix -iter on analogy of circiter "about" from circa. Also see obituary

updated on July 24, 2019

Definitions of obiter dictum from WordNet

obiter dictum (n.)
an incidental remark;
Synonyms: passing comment
obiter dictum (n.)
an opinion voiced by a judge on a point of law not directly bearing on the case in question and therefore not binding;
Synonyms: dictum
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.