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 (ôr′dn-əns, ôr′dô-näNs′)
The arrangement of elements in a literary or artistic composition or an architectural plan.

[French, variant of Old French ordenance, an arranging; see ordinance.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈɔːdənəns; French ɔrdɔnɑ̃s)
1. (Art Terms) the proper disposition of the elements of a building or an artistic or literary composition
2. (Law) an ordinance, law, or decree, esp in French law
[C17: from Old French ordenance arrangement, influenced by ordonner to order]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈɔr dn əns; Fr. ɔr dɔˈnɑ̃s)

n., pl. -don•nanc•es (-dn ən sɪz; Fr. -dɔˈnɑ̃s)
the arrangement or disposition of parts, as of a building, picture, or literary work.
[1635–45; < French, alter. of Old French ordenance ordinance, by influence of donner to give]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
"Les ordonnances" were in her mouth constantly, and it was easy to perceive that she attached the greatest importance to these ordinances, whatever they were, and fancied a political millennium was near.
{Les ordonnances = four decrees establishing absolute rule, issued by King Charles X on July 25, 1830, which touched off the July Revolution, leading to his abdication on July 31, and the installation of the Duke of Orleans as Louis Philippe I, King of the French--Cooper was living in Paris during this period, though he returned there from Italy and Germany a few days after the July Revolution itself, and he was a close friend of the Marquis de Lafayette who played a major part in the Revolution and its aftermath; for Cooper and many others, the ultimate results of the Revolution were a serious disappointment, since the new King seemed rapidly to become almost as conservative as the old}
"One moment, -- does not the king sign the ordonnances?"
The ordonnance colors, quartered cross-wise, violet and dead leaf, with a sprinkling of golden fleurs-de- lis , left the white-colored flag, with its fleur-de-lised cross, to dominate the whole.
La caisse nationale des assurances sociales des travailleurs salaries (CNAS) tire la sonnette sur la hausse croissante de ses depenses dues notamment aux arrets de travail de complaisance prescrits par des medecins et des ordonnances de plus en plus [beaucoup moins que] chargees [beaucoup plus grand que] de medicaments.
Les enfants viennent en tete avec 89.238 beneficiaires, suivi des femmes avec 50.146 et des hommes avec 43.828, a precise, dans une declaration a la MAP, le medecin-chef de l'hopital, le colonel Abdelouahed Baite, soulignant que l'hopital a fourni 264.429 prestations medicales et delivre gratuitement 176.942 ordonnances medicales.
Le chef de la rebellion centrafricaine Seleka, Michel Djotodia, qui a pris le pouvoir a Bangui dimanche, a annonce qu'il allait suspendre la Constitution et legiferer par ordonnances pour conduire la transition du pays, dans un discours a la presse lundi.
Reports of judgments, advisory opinions and orders 2011; v.11./Recueil des arrets, avis consultatifs et ordonnances.
In addition, at the request of Henry II and Charles IX, he compiled a series of Recueils that collected and analyzed royal ordonnances and other texts pertinent to the history of the French crown and its prerogatives.