obiter dictum (ob-i-t<<schwa>>r dik-t<<schwa>>m). [Latin “something said in passing”] A judicial comment made while delivering a judicial opinion, but one that is unnecessary to the decision in the case and therefore not precedential (although it may be considered persuasive). — Often shortened to dictum or, less commonly, obiter. Pl. obiter dicta.See DICTUM. Cf. HOLDING(1); RATIO DECIDENDI. [Cases: Courts 92. C.J.S. Courts §§ 142–143.]
“Strictly speaking an ‘obiter dictum’ is a remark made or opinion expressed by a judge, in his decision upon a cause, ‘by the way’ — that is, incidentally or collaterally, and not directly upon the question before the court; or it is any statement of law enunciated by the judge or court merely by way of illustration, argument, analogy, or suggestion…. In the common speech of lawyers, all such extrajudicial expressions of legal opinion are referred to as ‘dicta,’ or ‘obiter dicta,’ these two terms being used interchangeably.” William M. Lile et al., Brief Making and the Use of Law Books 304 (3d ed. 1914).
[Blacks Law 8th]