Definition of writ
2a : a formal written document; specifically : a legal instrument in epistolary form issued under seal in the name of the English monarchb : an order or mandatory process in writing issued in the name of the sovereign or of a court or judicial officer commanding the person to whom it is directed to perform or refrain from performing an act specified therein <writ of detinue> <writ of entry> <writ of execution>c : the power and authority of the issuer of such a written order —usually used with run <outside the United States where … our writ does not run — Dean Acheson>
Examples of writ in a sentence
The judge issued a writ of habeas corpus.
He was served with a writ.
Origin and Etymology of writ
Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old English wrītan to write
First Known Use: before 12th century
WRIT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of writ for English Language Learners
law : a document from a court ordering someone to do something or not to do something
WRIT Defined for Kids
Definition of writ for Students
: an order in writing signed by an officer of a court ordering someone to do or not to do something
Legal Definition of writ
1 : a letter that was issued in the name of the English monarch from Anglo-Saxon times to declare his grants, wishes, and commands
2 : an order or mandatory process in writing issued in the name of the sovereign or of a court or judicial officer commanding the person to whom it is directed to perform or refrain from performing a specified act Editor's note: The writ was a vital official instrument in the old common law of England. A plaintiff commenced a suit at law by choosing the proper form of action and obtaining a writ appropriate to the remedy sought; its issuance forced the defendant to comply or to appear in court and defend. Writs were also in constant use for financial and political purposes of government. While the writ no longer governs civil pleading and has lost many of its applications, the extraordinary writs especially of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, and certiorari indicate its historical importance as an instrument of judicial authority. alias writ : a writ issued upon the failure of a previous one alternative writ : a writ commanding one to perform a mandated act or else to show cause why the act need not be performed — compare peremptory writ in this entry extraordinary writ : a writ granted as an extraordinary remedy at the discretion of the court in its jurisdiction over officials or inferior tribunals —called also prerogative writ — see also certiorari, habeas corpus, mandamus, procedendo, prohibition, quo warranto — compare writ of right 2 in this entry Editor's note: Extraordinary writs were originally writs exercised by royal prerogative. judicial writ : a writ issued by a court under its own seal for judicial purposes in the course of a proceeding or to enforce a judgment — compare original writ in this entry original writ : a writ formerly used in England that issued out of chancery as the means of bringing a suit and defendant before the court — compare judicial writ in this entry Editor's note: The original writ was superseded by the summons in 1873. peremptory writ : a writ (as of mandamus) that presents an absolute order without the alternative to show cause <a peremptory writ of prohibition> — compare alternative writ in this entry prerogative writ \pri-ˈrä-gə-tiv-\ : extraordinary writ in this entry writ of assistance 1 : a writ issued to a law officer (as a sheriff or marshal) for the enforcement of a court order or decree; especially : one used to enforce an order for the possession of lands 2 : a writ provided for under British rule in colonial America that authorized customs officers to search unspecified places for any smuggled goods Editor's note: Many colonial courts refused to issue writs of assistance, which were a focus of bitter resentment against arbitrary searches and seizures. Opposition to such writs inspired the provision in the U.S. Constitution requiring that a search warrant describe with particularity the place and items to be searched. writ of coram nobis : writ of error coram nobis in this entry writ of error : a common-law writ directing an inferior court to remit the record of an action to the reviewing court in order that an error of law may be corrected if it exists Editor's note: The writ of error has been largely abolished and superseded by the appeal. writ of error coram nobis : a writ calling the attention of the trial court to facts which do not appear on the record despite the exercise of reasonable diligence by the defendant and which if known and established at the time a judgment was rendered would have resulted in a different judgment <petitioned for a writ of error coram nobis on the ground that newly discovered evidence exonerated him> —called also coram nobis, writ of coram nobis writ of right 1 : a common-law writ formerly used to restore property held by another to its rightful owner 2 : a writ granted as a matter of right — compare extraordinary writ in this entry
Origin and Etymology of writ
Old English, something written
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up writ? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).