[kwoh waw-ran-toh, wo-]
- (formerly, in England) a writ calling upon a person to show by what authority he or she claims an office, franchise, or liberty.
- (in England and the U.S.) a trial, hearing, or other legal proceeding initiated to determine by what authority one has an office, franchise, or liberty.
- the pleading initiating such a proceeding.
Origin of quo warranto
1250–1300; Middle English < Medieval Latin quō warrantō by what warrant
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- law a proceeding initiated to determine or (formerly) a writ demanding by what authority a person claims an office, franchise, or privilege
from Medieval Latin: by what warrant
Word Origin and History for quo warranto
Medieval Latin, literally "by what warrant," from quo "from, with, or by whom or what?," ablative of interrogative pronoun quis "who?" (see who).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper