Definition of warrant in US English:



  • 1A document issued by a legal or government official authorizing the police or some other body to make an arrest, search premises, or carry out some other action relating to the administration of justice.

    ‘magistrates issued a warrant for his arrest’
    ‘an extradition warrant’
    • ‘On July 23, 1999, police officers in Tulia hit the streets with warrants for the arrests of 46 cocaine dealers.’
    • ‘The police obtain a warrant, search Deirdre's apartment, and discover the uniform.’
    • ‘The court issued a warrant for his arrest not backed for bail.’
    • ‘Officers executed a warrant in Chorley, Lancashire, on Thursday and a 29-year-old man was arrested.’
    • ‘The same evening, officers executed a warrant at an address in Buller Street, Bury, where Craig was arrested.’
    • ‘He then failed to answer a summons from the examining magistrate, and a warrant for his arrest was issued on 28th January 1997.’
    • ‘On receipt of the authority to proceed the metropolitan magistrate may issue a warrant for the arrest of the person specified.’
    • ‘He disclosed that police had ignored a warrant for Mason's arrest that was issued after he had not appeared for his hearing.’
    • ‘Where a malfunctioning alarm has been going for more than 20 minutes, council officers will be able to apply for a warrant to use force to gain entry to a house and silence it.’
    • ‘The Tribunal thinks the arrest warrant issued in one State is not valid in other State.’
    • ‘As a sheriff is liable for the acts of the officers acting under his warrant, his bailiffs are annually bound to him in an obligation with sureties for the faithful discharge of their office.’
    • ‘Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of former the York man John Wilson after he failed to turn up at court for allegedly breaching his order.’
    • ‘On Monday, the judge who signed the warrants is expected to appoint public defenders for each of the accused.’
    • ‘The Commission went on to find that his arrest had been made pursuant to a lawful arrest warrant issued before his abduction.’
    • ‘Police issued an arrest warrant for bigamy and John, who now lives on the Isle of Man, turned himself in last week.’
    • ‘Moreover, he wrote, the failure to get a warrant was not justified.’
    • ‘In July 1999 officers executed three warrants.’
    • ‘I think it is all going to be in the sealed search warrants and arrest warrants, and we know those items were sent to the serology unit.’
    • ‘Now she was not only in the States illegally, the police had issued a warrant for her arrest after an antiwar protest that turned ugly.’
    • ‘The investigators, who had a military warrant, copied the hard drive of one lawyer's computer, Rehkopf said.’
    authorization, written order, licence, permit, official document
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    1. 1.1 A document that entitles the holder to receive goods, money, or services.
      ‘we'll issue you with a travel warrant’
      • ‘The speaker's statement indicated that there was evidence that some members provided signed blank warrants to the travel agents.’
      • ‘These warrants entitle the holders to sell shares of the common stock to the Company on certain dates at specified prices.’
      • ‘In a card of this type, the issuer warrants to the payee that a cheque, drawn by the card-holder for not more than a stated maximum amount, will be paid on presentment.’
      • ‘But Mrs Pearson has not been allowed to see documents to prove a travel warrant was raised.’
      • ‘A group of concerned teachers met at the Central Province Travel Agency in Gordons, Port Moresby on December 13 over delays in processing travel warrants.’
      • ‘He alleged MPs had received car hire, hotel accommodation and other advantages by means of travel warrants to which they had not been entitled.’
      • ‘And yes, they asked for a lot of warrants as compensation.’
      • ‘While it's not required that the government receive warrants in return, that's one suggestion to compensate it for the credit risks being taken.’
      • ‘It says they are given a travel warrant and asked to sign a form - waiving their right to access further homeless services in York if they return.’
      voucher, chit, slip, paper, ticket, coupon, pass
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    2. 1.2Finance A negotiable security allowing the holder to buy shares at a specified price at or before some future date.
      • ‘Other things being equal, for every €1 fall in the share price, the warrant price falls by five times more.’
      • ‘Chautauqua's parent company, Republic Airlines, paid American a contract rights fee in the form of a warrant to buy shares of its common stock.’
      • ‘The buyers negotiate favorable terms, such as price discounts or warrants to receive additional shares should the stock hit a target price.’
      • ‘In an unlucky coincidence today it outlined a rescue issue of convertible bonds and warrants.’
      • ‘Based on the current warrant and share price, the warrant gives gearing of 1.8 times.’
  • 2usually with negative Justification or authority for an action, belief, or feeling.

    ‘there is no warrant for this assumption’
    • ‘The game probably did not warrant all those red and yellow cards but nevertheless the result keeps Acorn on top of the table.’
    • ‘When in-flight performance warrants, they do not hesitate to make a termination call.’
    • ‘But he maintained that there is no warrant for reading into it that any discussion was intended by Himmler to take place with Hitler about killing the displaced Jewish Lubliners.’
    • ‘The apparent similarity to the position the United States finds itself in today in Afghanistan and Iraq warrants giving some attention to Soviet lessons learned.’
    • ‘The truth of, and warrant for, the belief are secured, not by evidence, but by the satisfaction of certain very general conditions on experience.’
    • ‘It is his submission that there is no warrant for the proposition that the claimant can rely upon matters which were unknown and could not have been known to the defendant.’
    • ‘The course of events which I have described provides no warrant for any extension of that time.’
    • ‘There is as yet no warrant for ruling out an arithmetical set that is not decidable, or for ruling out a decidable set that is not arithmetical.’
    • ‘There is no warrant for the long-term or indefinite detention of a non-UK national whom the Home Secretary wishes to remove.’
    • ‘Rothbard is still correct in maintaining that Mises has no warrant for assuming what the purposes are of those who recommend the minimum wage.’
    • ‘There is no warrant for the claim that he became anti-Christian or antireligious after coming to power.’
    • ‘The consent of the insane is no warrant for harming them.’
    • ‘There really is no warrant for taking it at this speed and I will not have it, so will you kindly move on.’
    • ‘There is in my judgment no warrant for it in the statutory language.’
    • ‘There is no warrant for describing military action, be it controversial or otherwise, that target those who plan, dispatch and carry out terrorism as a campaign of murder.’
    • ‘We believe that when the situation warrants, this trend will continue in the future.’
    • ‘The potential for Middle East terrorists to operate in the TBA and elsewhere in Latin America warrants closer scrutiny.’
    • ‘Appropriate planning, however, can mitigate the dangers involved and make it an acceptable risk for the maneuver commander if the situation warrants.’
    • ‘She maintains that it is predictive efficacy that counts, and that predictive success provides no warrant for claims about truth or existence.’
    • ‘There can be no warrant for the cold-blooded execution of a surrendered terrorist.’
    justification, grounds, cause, rationale, basis, assurance
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  • 3An official certificate of appointment issued to an officer of lower rank than a commissioned officer.


[with object]
  • 1Justify or necessitate (a certain course of action)

    ‘that offense is serious enough to warrant a court martial’
    • ‘But he was not considered to be a serious enough risk to warrant a full-scale surveillance operation.’
    • ‘HIV / AIDS in many societies is serious enough to warrant this type of response, but it is easy to see why a government may be hesitant to declare a state of emergency.’
    • ‘It's serious enough to warrant immediate action.’
    • ‘The tribunal ruled that Kim knew what she was doing and agreed with Netto bosses that the loss was serious enough to warrant dismissal.’
    • ‘Young people aged 10 to 17 who plead guilty to their first offence will be sent to new youth offender panels, providing their crime is not serious enough to warrant a custodial sentence.’
    • ‘He has made mistakes the last few days, but they're not nearly serious enough to warrant his dismissal.’
    • ‘But I wonder whether the Times ever was honest and bias-free enough to warrant the ‘paper of record’ label.’
    • ‘The Soldiers determined the boy's illness was serious enough to warrant hospitalization.’
    • ‘When a roof needs a tune up, it means there are defects needing attention but that conditions are not serious enough to warrant roof replacement.’
    • ‘Of course, the generals' categorical denial of a conspiracy simply serves to underline that the rumors are serious enough to warrant their attention.’
    • ‘He stood behind an elderly man who was arguing over whether or not his bowel condition was serious enough to warrant surgery, or something of the like.’
    • ‘Don't you think that this alone is enough to warrant sanctuary zones aimed at protecting not only habitat, but also the valuable breeding stock capable of replenishing other areas?’
    • ‘It turned out that a fraud had been committed and that it had been serious enough to warrant the man's prosecution, had he lived until his arrest and trial.’
    • ‘Despite the catastrophic consequences of the accident, they said the standard of Martin's driving was not serious enough to warrant a longer sentence.’
    • ‘Sentencing, Recorder John Gibson said the offence was serious enough to warrant custody.’
    • ‘If you're in doubt as to whether your fever is serious enough to warrant a call to your doctor, err on the side of caution.’
    • ‘The home team matched Falkirk's efforts and for some of the time at least played well enough to have warranted a more positive result on another day.’
    • ‘Santini's stepmother is ill, but the situation was not deemed serious enough to warrant his resignation.’
    • ‘The U.S. attorney in the district can impanel a grand jury if they feel that there is evidence warranting a criminal investigation.’
    • ‘Clearly such forces have an important role and can increase the Army's capabilities in the portion of the spectrum of conflict that most warrants attention.’
    justify, vindicate, call for, sanction, validate, be a justification for, be a reason for
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    1. 1.1 Officially affirm or guarantee.
      ‘the vendor warrants the accuracy of the report’
      guarantee, affirm, swear, promise, vow, pledge, give an undertaking, undertake, state, assert, declare, aver, proclaim, pronounce, profess, attest
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  • I (or I'll) warrant (you)

    • dated Used to express the speaker's certainty about a fact or situation.

      ‘I'll warrant you'll thank me for it in years to come’
      • ‘But as it stands, the people who are running this business are doing it for all of the wrong reasons and, I'll warrant, in all the wrong ways.’
      • ‘No; that garden is cultivated by the own hands of Signor Giacomo Rappaccini, the famous doctor, who, I warrant, has been heard of as far as Naples.’
      • ‘I'll warrant that the usual suspect behind modern urban malaise - the breakdown of the fabric of traditional communities - has something to do with it.’
      • ‘On the pitch two gallant teams went at it hammer and tongs while off it, their passionate supporters kept up an incessant cacophony, which will not, I'll warrant, be equalled at the county final.’
      • ‘They do this while reading it religiously and, I'll warrant, using it as a way of keeping tabs on how various stories are playing, especially at the grass-roots level.’


Middle English (in the senses ‘protector’ and ‘safeguard’, also, as a verb, ‘keep safe from danger’): from variants of Old French guarant (noun), guarantir (verb), of Germanic origin; compare with guarantee.