habeas corpus

[ hey-bee-uhs kawr-puhs ]
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nounLaw.
  1. a writ requiring a person to be brought before a judge or court, especially for investigation of a restraint of the person's liberty, used as a protection against illegal imprisonment.

Origin of habeas corpus

1
<Latin: literally, have the body (first words of writ), equivalent to habeās 2nd-person singular present subjunctive (with imperative force) of habēre to have + corpus body

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British Dictionary definitions for habeas corpus

habeas corpus

/ (ˈheɪbɪəs ˈkɔːpəs) /


noun
  1. law a writ ordering a person to be brought before a court or judge, esp so that the court may ascertain whether his detention is lawful

Origin of habeas corpus

1
C15: from the opening of the Latin writ, literally: you may have the body

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

Cultural definitions for habeas corpus

habeas corpus

[ (hay-bee-uhs kawr-puhs) ]


A legal term meaning that an accused person must be presented physically before the court with a statement demonstrating sufficient cause for arrest. Thus, no accuser may imprison someone indefinitely without bringing that person and the charges against him or her into a courtroom. In Latin, habeas corpus literally means “you shall have the body.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.