waiv·​er | \ ˈwā-vər How to pronounce waiver (audio) \

Definition of waiver

1 : the act of intentionally relinquishing or abandoning a known right, claim, or privilege also : the legal instrument evidencing such an act
2 : the act of a club's waiving the right to claim a professional ball player who is being removed from another club's roster often used in the phrase on waivers denoting the process by which a player to be removed from a roster is made available to other clubs

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Examples of waiver in a Sentence

a criminal defendant's waiver of a jury trial The college got a special waiver from the town to exceed the building height limit. He signed an insurance waiver before surgery.
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Recent Examples on the Web

With the help of Jared Walker, who runs Dollar for Portland, a nonprofit, the couple applied for a medical charity-care waiver, in itself a complicated process. Jonel Aleccia, The Seattle Times, "State laws ban surprise medical bills. A Washington woman got one for $227,000 — and fought back.," 30 Mar. 2019 Only metal products that are unavailable from U.S. producers are eligible for the waivers. David J. Lynch, chicagotribune.com, "Flood of U.S. companies seek relief on tariffs," 20 June 2018 In some local school districts -- including Alief, Fort Bend, Katy and Spring -- all campuses will be eligible for waivers. Jacob Carpenter, Houston Chronicle, "TEA issuing Harvey accountability waivers, 4 long-failing HISD schools not eligible," 6 June 2018 Current high school students who enroll part-time will qualify for a tuition waiver, but possibly pay other fees. Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Rancho Bernardo, "Palomar College to open Rancho Bernardo campus in June," 9 May 2018 There is a July deadline for a waiver on sanctions targeting Iranian businesses and individuals. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "Donald Trump set to announce fate of Iran nuclear deal; blasts John Kerry for making it," 8 May 2018 The State Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday to reject the private school's request for a suspension waiver in 2018-19 — due to two straight years of poor accountability grades. Meredith Colias-pete, Post-Tribune, "Merrillville's Faith Academy to be suspended from voucher program," 4 Apr. 2018 The Howard County Public School System will petition the Maryland State Department of Education for a waiver after closing for its sixth snow day of the year on Wednesday. Kate Elizabeth Queram, Howard County Times, "Howard County schools to petition state for waiver after latest snow day," 21 Mar. 2018 Murphy was quickly claimed off waivers by the Giants on March 25 but was designated again three days later. Ryan Divish, The Seattle Times, "Mariners acquire backup catcher Tom Murphy in trade with Giants, option David Freitas to Tacoma," 29 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'waiver.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of waiver

1628, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for waiver

Anglo-French weyver, from waiver, verb

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Statistics for waiver

Last Updated

14 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for waiver

The first known use of waiver was in 1628

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More Definitions for waiver



Financial Definition of waiver

What It Is

A waiver is a party's voluntary renunciation of rights in a contractual arrangement.

How It Works

When two parties enter into a contract, they often agree to forfeit some of their respective rights or claims. Either party may use a waiver -- expressed either in writing or through the performance of a specific deed -- to officially give up a privilege, right, or claim.

For example, one party might sign a waiver stating that he or she will not take legal action against the other party if there is some unintentional wrongdoing.

Why It Matters

It is important to remember that a party who signs a waiver is surrendering his or her right to pursue a course of action (file a lawsuit, receive compensation, etc). In most cases, a party will sign a waiver only if he or she receives a benefit in exchange for doing so.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of waiver

: the act of choosing not to use or require something that you are allowed to have or that is usually required
: an official document indicating that someone has given up or waived a right or requirement


waiv·​er | \ ˈwā-vər How to pronounce waiver (audio) \

Legal Definition of waiver

: the act of intentionally or knowingly relinquishing or abandoning a known right, claim, or privilege also : the legal instrument evidencing such an act — compare estoppel, forfeiture

Note: Acts or statements made while forming or carrying out a contract may constitute a waiver and prevent a party from enforcing a contractual right (as when an insurer is barred from disclaiming liability because of facts known to it when it issued the insurance policy). Varying standards are applied by courts to determine if there has been a waiver of various constitutional rights (such as the right to counsel) in criminal cases.

History and Etymology for waiver

Anglo-French, from waiver to waive

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More from Merriam-Webster on waiver

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with waiver

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for waiver

Spanish Central: Translation of waiver

Nglish: Translation of waiver for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of waiver for Arabic Speakers

Comments on waiver

What made you want to look up waiver? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to mark by some ceremony or observation

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