[sur-shee-uh-rair-ahy, -rair-ee]

noun Law.

a writ issuing from a superior court calling up the record of a proceeding in an inferior court for review.

Nearby words

  1. certified milk,
  2. certified pasteurized milk,
  3. certified professional secretary,
  4. certified public accountant,
  5. certify,
  6. certitude,
  7. certosina,
  8. cerulean,
  9. cerulean blue,
  10. cerulean warbler

Origin of certiorari

1515–25; < Latin: to be informed, certified, literally, made surer, passive infinitive of certiōrāre to inform, verbal derivative of certior, comparative of certus sure (see certain); so called because v. form occurred in the L original

Also called writ of certiorari.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for certiorari

British Dictionary definitions for certiorari



law an order of a superior court directing that a record of proceedings in a lower court be sent up for reviewSee also mandamus, prohibition

Word Origin for certiorari

C15: from legal Latin: to be informed

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for certiorari


legal Latin, "to be certified, to be informed or shown," from a word figuring in the opening phrase of such writs from superior to inferior courts seeking the records of a case. Passive present infinitive of certorare "to certify, inform," from certior, comp. of certus "sure" (see certain).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper