quo warranto

[ kwoh waw-ran-toh, wo- ]
/ kwoʊ wɔˈræn toʊ, wɒ- /

noun Law.

(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. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for quo warranto

quo warranto

/ (ˈkwəʊ wɒˈræntəʊ) /


law a proceeding initiated to determine or (formerly) a writ demanding by what authority a person claims an office, franchise, or privilege

Word Origin for quo warranto

from Medieval Latin: by what warrant
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