- any of various legal writs commanding a defendant to do something or to appear and show why it should not be done.
- a written order addressed to the clerk of the court requesting that a writ be issued and specifying its contents.
Origin of praecipe
1400–50; late Middle English presepe < Latin praecipe, 2nd singular imperative of praecipere to take in advance; see precept
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
c.1500 (in Magna Carta in Anglo-Latin), from Latin praecipe, imperative of praecipere "to admonish, enjoin," from the opening words of such a writ, praecipe quod reddat "enjoin (him) that he render."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper