Definition of habeas corpus in English:

habeas corpus


  • 1A 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.

    • ‘When we use habeas corpus, we protect the safety of both our physical selves and our moral selves.’
    • ‘And there are no territorial limits to the reach of habeas corpus articulated in the text.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘How do the basic values of the writ of habeas corpus compare to those of the Bill of Rights generally?’
    • ‘The principle of habeas corpus is a demand that free people make toward state power.’
    1. 1.1The legal right to apply for a habeas corpus.


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


habeas corpus

/ˌhābēəs ˈkôrpəs/