warrant

noun
war·​rant | \ ˈwȯr-ənt How to pronounce warrant (audio) , ˈwär- \

Definition of warrant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : sanction, authorization also : evidence for or token of authorization
2a : a commission or document giving authority to do something especially : a writing that authorizes a person to pay or deliver to another and the other to receive money or other consideration
b : a precept or writ issued by a competent magistrate authorizing an officer to make an arrest, a seizure, or a search or to do other acts incident to the administration of justice
c : an official certificate of appointment issued to an officer of lower rank than a commissioned officer
d(1) : a short-term obligation of a governmental body (such as a municipality) issued in anticipation of revenue
(2) : an instrument issued by a corporation giving to the holder the right to purchase the stock of the corporation at a stated price either prior to a stipulated date or at any future time

warrant

verb
warranted; warranting; warrants

Definition of warrant (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to declare or maintain with certainty : be sure that I'll warrant he'll be here by noon
b : to assure (a person) of the truth of what is said
2a : to guarantee to a person good title to and undisturbed possession of (something, such as an estate)
b : to provide a guarantee of the security of (something, such as title to property sold) usually by an express covenant in the deed of conveyance
c : to guarantee to be as represented
d : to guarantee (something, such as goods sold) especially in respect of the quality or quantity specified
3 : to guarantee security or immunity to : secure I'll warrant him from drowning— William Shakespeare
4 : to give warrant or sanction to : authorize the law warrants this procedure
5a : to give proof of the authenticity or truth of
b : to give assurance of the nature of or for the undertaking of : guarantee
6 : to serve as or give adequate ground or reason for promising enough to warrant further consideration

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from warrant

Noun

warrantless \ ˈwȯr-​ənt-​ləs How to pronounce warrant (audio) , ˈwär-​ \ adjective

Examples of warrant in a Sentence

Noun The police had a warrant for his arrest. There was no warrant for such behavior. Verb The writing was poor, but it hardly warrants that kind of insulting criticism. The punishment he received was not warranted.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Such a warrant, signed by a judge, allows a police officer to transport an individual to a mental health facility if the person shows signs of serious mental illness and poses an imminent and substantial risk of serious harm to himself or others. Emilie Eaton, ExpressNews.com, "Family sues over jail death of mentally ill San Antonio man who lost 104 pounds, developed bed sores," 16 Dec. 2020 The warrant, obtained by CNN through Price's attorney, authorized the police to enter without knocking and announcing themselves before entry. Amir Vera And Kay Jones, CNN, "A Black woman is suing Fort Worth following 'unlawful' home raid, lawsuit says," 8 Dec. 2020 The Lakewood man, 29, had a felony warrant for a parole violation, as well as for several misdemeanors. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "Man butts heads with law, cruiser: Orange Police Blotter," 27 Nov. 2020 Lewellen said Arkansas doesn’t have a warrant of habitability, which essentially means tenants do not have a right to safe, habitable housing and do not have a right to withhold rent or sue the landlord because their home isn’t liveable. Nyssa Kruse, Arkansas Online, "Grown: What protections do renters have in Arkansas?," 23 Nov. 2020 Ebrard said that there had been no formal extradition request made because there was no arrest warrant issued in Mexico -- a prerequisite for extradition. Justin Villamil, Bloomberg.com, "Mexico Puts Sovereignty First in Ex-Defense Chief’s Drug Case," 18 Nov. 2020 The arrest warrant affidavit lists 22 items with blood on them that state police found in the garbage bags that later tested positive for either Farber Dulos' DNA, Dulos' DNA or Troconis' DNA. Dave Altimari, courant.com, "Probate judge to determine whether to declare missing New Canaan mother Jennifer Farber Dulos legally dead," 22 Oct. 2020 The law allows British authorities to examine, without a warrant, which servers a person connected to and when. David Meyer, Fortune, "European countries can’t collect everyone’s Internet traffic and location data all the time, top court rules," 6 Oct. 2020 An arrest warrant for Colbert, which investigators obtained July 14, is still sealed. oregonlive, "19-year-old charged in SE Portland domestic violence killing of Shai’India Harris, 18," 3 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Fatality data reported to the state consistently present confusion and warrant a more rigorous review, according to a Department of Health news release. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Westminster Dog Show, Surgeon General cited, Las Vegas casino to debut: News from around our 50 states," 23 Oct. 2020 The organization said not all reports warrant placing a person on USASF’s public list of those suspended or banned. USA Today, "Help USA TODAY investigate misconduct in cheerleading," 23 Dec. 2020 Under Biden, the council is likely to rewrite a rule governing agency reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act, following Trump administration changes limiting the scope of the analysis as well as what projects warrant the scrutiny. Ari Natter, Bloomberg.com, "Biden Enlists Team of Veteran Leaders to Fight Climate Change," 16 Dec. 2020 On one hand, the participants put their health at risk to help test the vaccine, which may warrant giving them immediate access to the vaccine. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "FDA advisers give thumbs up to Pfizer vaccine, paving way for authorization," 10 Dec. 2020 Now, just as this Court was preparing to act on their applications, the Governor loosened his restrictions, all while continuing to assert the power to tighten them again anytime as conditions warrant. Arkansas Online, "OPINION | EDITORIAL: Opinion makers," 28 Nov. 2020 Republicans nationally and in Michigan, including U.S. Senate candidate John James, also sought a delay of certification, arguing alleged irregularities in Detroit warrant further review before votes are finalized. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan board votes to certify election results despite GOP calls to delay," 23 Nov. 2020 Any facility that has passed its expiration date now but is deemed needed later on can always be re-visited if circumstances warrant. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "The Capital Letter: Week of November 16," 21 Nov. 2020 The latest numbers warrant attention, said assistant city manager Colleen Bridger, who oversees Metro Health. Peggy O’hare, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio, Bexar County report 936 new coronavirus cases, seven more deaths," 20 Nov. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of warrant

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for warrant

Noun

Middle English waraunt protector, warrant, from Anglo-French warant, garant, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German werēnto guarantor, werēn to warrant; akin to Old High German wāra trust, care — more at very entry 2

Verb

Middle English, waranten to act as protector, guarantee, from Anglo-French warentir, garantir, from warant

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about warrant

Time Traveler for warrant

Time Traveler

The first known use of warrant was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for warrant

Last Updated

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Warrant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/warrant. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for warrant

warrant

noun
How to pronounce warrant (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of warrant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

law : a document issued by a court that gives the police the power to do something
formal : a reason for thinking, deciding, or doing something

warrant

verb

English Language Learners Definition of warrant (Entry 2 of 2)

: to require or deserve (something)
: to make a legal promise that a statement is true
: to give a guarantee or warranty for (a product)

warrant

noun
war·​rant | \ ˈwȯr-ənt How to pronounce warrant (audio) \

Kids Definition of warrant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a reason or cause for an opinion or action There is no warrant for such behavior.
2 : a document giving legal power “Hold that man,” … “I have a warrant for his arrest.”— Richard and Florence Atwater, Mr. Popper's Penguins

warrant

verb
warranted; warranting

Kids Definition of warrant (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to be sure of or that I'll warrant they know the answer.
2 : guarantee entry 2 sense 1 The toaster is warranted for 90 days.
3 : to call for : justify The report warrants careful study.

warrant

noun
war·​rant | \ ˈwȯr-ənt, ˈwär- How to pronounce warrant (audio) \

Legal Definition of warrant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : warranty sense 2 an implied warrant of fitness
2 : a commission or document giving authority to do something: as
a : an order from one person (as an official) to another to pay public funds to a designated person
b : a writ issued especially by a judicial official (as a magistrate) authorizing an officer (as a sheriff) to perform a specified act required for the administration of justice a warrant of arrest by warrant of commitment
administrative warrant
: a warrant (as for an administrative search) issued by a judge upon application of an administrative agency
anticipatory search warrant
: a search warrant that is issued on the basis of an affidavit showing probable cause that there will be certain evidence at a specific location at a future time

called also anticipatory warrant

arrest warrant
: a warrant issued to a law enforcement officer ordering the officer to arrest and bring the person named in the warrant before the court or a magistrate

Note: A criminal arrest warrant must be issued based upon probable cause. Not all arrests require an arrest warrant.

bench warrant
: a warrant issued by a judge for the arrest of a person who is in contempt of court or indicted
death warrant
: a warrant issued to a warden or other prison official to carry out a sentence of death
dispossessory warrant \ ˌdis-​pə-​ˈze-​sə-​rē-​ \
: a warrant issued to evict someone (as a lessee) from real property used especially in Georgia
distress warrant
: a warrant ordering the distress of property and specifying which items of property are to be distrained
extradition warrant
: a warrant for the extradition of a fugitive specifically : rendition warrant in this entry
fugitive warrant
: an arrest warrant issued in one jurisdiction for someone who is a fugitive from another jurisdiction

called also fugitive from justice warrant

general warrant
: a warrant that is unconstitutional because it fails to state with sufficient particularity the place or person to be searched or things to be seized
material witness warrant
: a warrant issued for the arrest of a material witness to prevent the witness from fleeing without giving testimony
no-knock search warrant
: a search warrant allowing law enforcement officers to enter premises without prior announcement in order to prevent destruction of evidence (as illegal drugs) or harm to the officers — compare exigent circumstances
rendition warrant
: a warrant issued by an official (as a governor) in one jurisdiction (as a state) for the extradition of a fugitive in that jurisdiction to another that is requesting the extradition
search warrant
: a warrant authorizing law enforcement officers to conduct a search of a place (as a house or vehicle) or person and usually also to seize evidence

called also search and seizure warrant

Note: The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires that a search warrant for a criminal investigation be issued only upon a showing of probable cause, as established usually by a sworn affidavit. The search warrant has to specify the premises and persons to be searched as well as what is being searched for. Not all searches require a search warrant. Warrantless searches are permitted when they are of a kind that the courts have found to be reasonable (as by being limited) or when they are prompted by a level of suspicion or belief (as reasonable suspicion or probable cause) that is consistent with the level of intrusion of the search. Some searches have been found to be so intrusive that a court hearing is required before the search is permitted.

3a : a short-term obligation of a governmental body (as a municipality) issued in anticipation of revenue
b : an instrument issued by a corporation giving to the holder the right to purchase the capital stock of the corporation at a stated price either prior to a stipulated date or at any future time stock warrant — compare subscription

Other Words from warrant

warrantless adjective

Legal Definition of warrant (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to guarantee especially by giving assurances that make one liable or responsible: as
a : to give a warranty (as of title) to
b : to protect or assure by warranty the warranted goods an assignor is not liable for defaults of the obligor and does not warrant his solvencyRestatement (Second) of Contracts
c : to state as a warranty : guarantee to be as represented the seller warrants that the car is without defects expressly warranted “prior endorsements guaranteed”— J. J. White and R. S. Summers
2a : to authorize by a warrant a warranted search
b : to serve as or give adequate reason or authorization for warranted the awarding of attorney's fees was not warranted by the facts
3 : to give proof of the authenticity or truth of a formally warranted statement

History and Etymology for warrant

Noun

Anglo-French warant garant protector, guarantor, authority, authorization, of Germanic origin

Transitive verb

Anglo-French warentir garantir, from garant protector, guarantor

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on warrant

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!