[wawr-uh nt, wor-]


verb (used with object)

Origin of warrant

1175–1225; (noun) Middle English warant < Anglo-French; Old French guarant < Germanic; compare Middle Low German warend, -ent warranty, noun use of present participle of waren to warrant; (v.) Middle English < Anglo-French warantir; Old French g(u)arantir, derivative of guarant; see guaranty
Related formswar·rant·less, adjectivenon·war·rant·ed, adjectivepre·war·rant, noun, verb (used with object)qua·si-war·rant·ed, adjectivere·war·rant, verb (used with object)self-war·rant·ing, adjectiveun·war·rant·ed, adjectiveun·war·rant·ed·ly, adverbwell-war·rant·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for warrant

Contemporary Examples of warrant

Historical Examples of warrant

  • "If your cask is leer, I warrant your purse is full, gaffer," shouted Hordle John.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • "If you will warrant the beer, I will warrant the throat," said John composedly.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • I'll warrant you have lost a dozen between Mallory's and here.

  • Again Kitty nodded, after looking up at him in alarm when he spoke of the warrant.

  • But I'll warrant you there's a kitchen garden in the rear of the palace.

    Tanglewood Tales

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

British Dictionary definitions for warrant



anything that gives authority for an action or decision; authorization; sanction
a document that certifies or guarantees, such as a receipt for goods stored in a warehouse, a licence, or a commission
law an authorization issued by a magistrate or other official allowing a constable or other officer to search or seize property, arrest a person, or perform some other specified act
(in certain armed services) the official authority for the appointment of warrant officers
a security that functions as a stock option by giving the owner the right to buy ordinary shares in a company at a specified date, often at a specified price

verb (tr)

to guarantee the quality, condition, etc, of (something)
to give authority or power to
to attest to or assure the character, worthiness, etc, of
to guarantee (a purchaser of merchandise) against loss of, damage to, or misrepresentation concerning the merchandise
law to guarantee (the title to an estate or other property)
to declare boldly and confidently
Derived Formswarrantable, adjectivewarrantability, nounwarrantably, adverbwarranter, nounwarrantless, adjective

Word Origin for warrant

C13: from Anglo-French warrant, variant of Old French guarant, from guarantir to guarantee, of Germanic origin; compare guaranty
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

Word Origin and History for warrant

early 13c., "protector, defender," from Old North French warant (Old French garant), from Frankish *warand (cf. Old High German weren "to authorize, warrant," German gewähren "to grant"), from Proto-Germanic *war- "to warn, guard, protect," perhaps from PIE root *wer- "to cover" (cf. Latin vereri "to observe with awe, revere, respect, fear;" Greek ouros "watchman," horan "to see;" Hittite werite- "to see;" see weir).

Sense evolved via notion of "permission from a superior which protects one from blame or responsibility" (c.1300) to "document conveying authority" (1510s). A warrant officer in the military is one who holds office by warrant, rather than by commission.


late 13c., "to keep safe from danger," from Old North French warantir (Old French garantir), from warant (see warrant (n.)).

Meaning "to guarantee to be of quality" is attested from late 14c.; sense of "to guarantee as true" is recorded from c.1300. Related: Warranted; warranting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with warrant


see sign one's own death warrant.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.