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

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Other Words from warrant

Noun

warrantless \ ˈwȯr-​ənt-​ləs How to pronounce warrantless (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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In March, Louisville police killed 26-year-old Breonna Taylor inside her own home during the execution of a no-knock warrant. Matt Sledge, NOLA.com, "This New Orleans proposal would restrict -- but not ban -- police use of tear gas," 10 Sep. 2020 But those plans died with her on March 13, when three Louisville officers burst into her apartment after midnight with a no-knock warrant. Faith Karimi, CNN, "Breonna Taylor had big plans before police knocked down her door in deadly raid," 6 Sep. 2020 Several protests are being planned around town over the death of Taylor, a Black emergency room technician who was shot and killed by Louisville Metro Police officers executing a no-knock warrant at her apartment in March. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "From protests to races, here's what's happening in Louisville for the 2020 Kentucky Derby," 4 Sep. 2020 The nine-ton marble statue, located in Jefferson Square Park downtown, has been vandalized in recent months amid ongoing protests over the death of Breonna Taylor at the hands of police conducting a no-knock warrant in March. Washington Post, "National Digest: 16-year-old arrested in connection with cyberattacks on Miami schools," 3 Sep. 2020 The statue has been tagged with spray-paint and had one of its hands broken off in May amid ongoing protests over the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who died when police conducted a no-knock warrant in March. Fox News, "Louisville removes statue of King Louis XVI over ‘safety concerns’ following months of protests," 3 Sep. 2020 And this past March, Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical worker, was shot dead in Louisville, Ky., when her boyfriend used his firearm to defend her from plainclothes police entering her apartment with a no-knock warrant. Jake Meth, Fortune, "Levi Strauss CEO: We can’t solve racial inequality if gun violence and voter disenfranchisement persist," 1 Sep. 2020 In Kentucky, protests have continued for months over the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who was shot multiple times when officers entered her apartment with a no-knock warrant. Bruce Schreiner, Star Tribune, "McConnell chides mayors for response to destructive protests," 1 Sep. 2020 The 26-year-old woman was unarmed and in her home when she was shot and killed March 13 by Louisville police executing a no-knock warrant. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'It's really hard for me to celebrate.' The Weeknd demands justice for Jacob Blake and Breonna Taylor at MTV VMAs," 30 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The name changes have stirred controversy, as some critics believe the offenses are too slight or small to warrant such changes. Peter Aitken, Fox News, "Michigan university changes building name linked to KKK member," 12 Sep. 2020 Milwaukee County Chief Deputy District Attorney Kent Lovern said the officers' actions didn’t warrant criminal charges, saying they were justified in using some force to prevent the man from spitting on them. chicagotribune.com, "2 Milwaukee police officers quit amid use-of-force allegations," 9 Sep. 2020 Perhaps the weekend did not warrant pulling the sweaters out of storage. Martin Weil, Washington Post, "Weekend ended summer with some of the coolest temperatures in months," 8 Sep. 2020 Either way, Gill said the circumstance didn’t warrant criminal charges against the officer. Jessica Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Three Salt Lake City officers deemed justified in shooting at a man who allegedly killed his girlfriend," 4 Sep. 2020 This major retailer, which is known for offering competitive pricing on everything from top air fryers to great patio furniture, has a slew of special deals up for grabs for the holiday that warrant some special attention. Shayna Murphy, USA TODAY, "Walmart's Labor Day deals are here and just as great as you'd expect—shop our top picks," 3 Sep. 2020 And if there are any special, explosive efforts that warrant some points, those instances will be rewarded, too. Safid Deen, sun-sentinel.com, "New Dolphins assistant, in search of ballhawks, hopes a simple game can help defensive backs in the long run," 28 Aug. 2020 Beyond Meat shares have recently been near $125; some see that as too rich a price for this not-yet-profitable company, while others see a future promising enough to warrant it. Scott Burns, Dallas News, "Motley Fool: Under its newest CEO, Microsoft has evolved — and it’s still growing," 23 Aug. 2020 Other nominees who warrant mention included Alice Allison Dunnigan, the first African American female correspondent at the White House. USA Today, "Who is your Woman of the Century?," 13 Aug. 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for warrant

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for warrant

Last Updated

14 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Warrant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/warrant. Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

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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

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