Definition of habeas corpus in English:

habeas corpus


  • 1[mass noun] A writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court, especially to secure the person's release unless lawful grounds are shown for their detention.

    ‘his application for habeas corpus’
    ‘a writ of habeas corpus’
    • ‘The principle of habeas corpus is a demand that free people make toward state power.’
    • ‘How do the basic values of the writ of habeas corpus compare to those of the Bill of Rights generally?’
    • ‘And there are no territorial limits to the reach of habeas corpus articulated in the text.’
    • ‘When we use habeas corpus, we protect the safety of both our physical selves and our moral selves.’
    • ‘Because we know that the writ of habeas corpus provides one of the most significant protections of human freedom against arbitrary government action ever created.’
    1. 1.1The legal right to apply for a habeas corpus writ.
      ‘Europe was first to introduce habeas corpus and the jury system’


Late Middle English: Latin, literally you shall have the body (in court).


habeas corpus

/ˌheɪbɪəs ˈkɔːpəs/