warrant

1 of 2

noun

war·​rant ˈwȯr-ənt How to pronounce warrant (audio)
ˈwär-
1
a(1)
: sanction, authorization
also : evidence for or token of authorization
2
a
: 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
warrantless adjective

warrant

2 of 2

verb

warranted; warranting; warrants

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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 drowningWilliam Shakespeare
4
: to give warrant or sanction to : authorize
the law warrants this procedure
5
a
: 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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Another employee told investigators that dogs were poorly cared for and inhumanely treated, which included animals being whipped and hit with metal pipes during training sessions, the warrant affidavit said. Justin Muszynski, Hartford Courant, 9 July 2024 According to the federal warrant, the FBI discovered evidence of Johnston booking a round-trip flight from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. during the week of the riot, arriving in the capitol on Jan. 4 and leaving on Jan. 7. Escher Walcott, Peoplemag, 9 July 2024
Verb
Dodgers Dodgers’ Teoscar Hernández hopes to add Home Run Derby to his bounce-back season July 8, 2024 Hernández’s play this season warranted a selection, with his 19 home runs tied for 12th most in the majors. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 10 July 2024 Does Biden’s poor performance in one presidential debate truly warrant the Democratic Party’s self-mutilation, even when there are no substantive facts to prove a diminution in the president’s health and cognitive abilities? Michelle Etlin, Baltimore Sun, 9 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for warrant 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'warrant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near warrant

Cite this Entry

“Warrant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/warrant. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

warrant

1 of 2 noun
war·​rant ˈwȯr-ənt How to pronounce warrant (audio)
ˈwär-
1
: evidence or a reason for thinking, deciding, or doing something : justification
2
: evidence of permission
especially : a legal paper giving an officer the power to carry out the law
3
: a certificate of appointment issued to an officer of lower rank than a commissioned officer

warrant

2 of 2 verb
1
: to declare or insist with certainty
I'll warrant they know the answer
2
: to guarantee something to be as it appears or is represented to be
3
: to give legal or official approval to : authorize
4
: to call for : require
this report warrants careful study
warrantable
-ə-bəl
adjective
warrantor
ˌwȯr-ən-ˈtȯ(ə)r
ˌwär-
-ənt-ər
noun

Legal Definition

warrant

1 of 2 noun
war·​rant ˈwȯr-ənt, ˈwär- How to pronounce warrant (audio)
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.

3
a
: 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
warrantless adjective

warrant

2 of 2 transitive verb
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
2
a
: 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
Etymology

Noun

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

Transitive verb

Anglo-French warentir, garantir, from garant protector, guarantor

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