Magna Carta

Mag·​na Car·​ta | \ ˈmag-nə-ˈkär-tə How to pronounce Magna Carta (audio) \
variants: or less commonly Magna Charta

Definition of Magna Carta

1 : a charter of liberties to which the English barons forced King John to give his assent in June 1215 at Runnymede
2 : a document constituting a fundamental guarantee of rights and privileges

First Known Use of Magna Carta

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for Magna Carta

Middle English, from Medieval Latin, literally, great charter

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The first known use of Magna Carta was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Magna Carta.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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Magna Carta

Mag·​na Car·​ta
variants: or Magna Charta \ ˈmag-​nə-​ˈkär-​tə How to pronounce Magna Charta (audio) \

Legal Definition of Magna Carta

: a charter of liberties signed under duress by King John of England in 1215 that influenced the development of many important modern legal and constitutional principles (as due process)

History and Etymology for Magna Carta

Medieval Latin, literally, great charter

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