Magna Carta

or Mag·na Char·ta

[ mag-nuh kahr-tuh ]
/ ˈmæg nə ˈkɑr tə /


the “great charter” of English liberties, forced from King John by the English barons and sealed at Runnymede, June 15, 1215.
any fundamental constitution or law guaranteeing rights and liberties.

Origin of Magna Carta

1425–75; late Middle English < Medieval Latin Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for magna carta

Magna Carta

Magna Charta

/ (ˈmæɡnə ˈkɑːtə) /


English history the charter granted by King John at Runnymede in 1215, recognizing the rights and privileges of the barons, church, and freemen

Word Origin for Magna Carta

Medieval Latin: great charter
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

Culture definitions for magna carta

Magna Carta

A list of rights and privileges that King John of England signed under pressure from English noblemen in 1215. It established the principles that the king could not levy taxes without consent of his legislature, or parliament, and that no free man in England could be deprived of liberty or property except through a trial or other legal process.

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.