Main definitions of writ in English

: writ1writ2

writ1

noun

  • 1A form of written command in the name of a court or other legal authority to act, or abstain from acting, in some way.

    • ‘Under U.S. law, a person held in custody by a state may challenge his conviction or sentence by seeking a writ of habeas corpus in federal court.’
    • ‘It was in these circumstances that the applicant commenced her proceedings in this Court seeking the constitutional writ of mandamus and the declarations previously set out.’
    • ‘If a lower court commits a factual or legal error, the Supreme Court will not grant a writ of certiorari simply to review that error.’
    • ‘You or your representative has the right to go to a court and seek a writ of habeas corpus.’
    • ‘That language suggests that, if the prisoners had alleged different facts, they might have been entitled to a writ of habeas corpus from a civilian court.’
    • ‘Many years after the original judgments were taken out, an application was brought to the court to have new writs of seizure and sale issued.’
    • ‘I am sorry, I want to seek leave for a certificate to take the matter to the Queen in Council because of the fact that there is a High Court Judge in the writ.’
    • ‘Your Honour, we have not appealed against that, but what we do say is that we have sufficient standing to obtain either of the prerogative writs if ultimately the Court were minded to grant them and we do not really need more than that.’
    • ‘In wartime, Congress has the power to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus - which permits a court to examine the lawfulness of executive detention.’
    • ‘The applicant commenced proceedings in this Court for writs of mandamus, certiorari and injunctions.’
    • ‘Where a court or a public officer wrongly refuses jurisdiction the exercise of the jurisdiction can be commanded by a writ of mandamus.’
    • ‘It was in the context of a privative clause in relation to the ability of courts to issue prerogative writs.’
    • ‘I have no problem with it in terms of the prerogative writs; the courts have a discretion there.’
    • ‘Thus it may in proper cases take the place of an action for negligence, or an action for breach of warranty of authority brought by the person named as defendant in the writ.’
    • ‘Civilians enjoyed the rights to counsel and trial by jury and the privilege of a habeas corpus writ to test the legality of government detention.’
    • ‘The most fundamental of these guarantees - and one of the cornerstones of democratic rights worldwide - is the right to petition a court for a writ of habeas corpus.’
    • ‘In September 2004, the applicant filed an application in the High Court for the constitutional writs of certiorari and mandamus.’
    • ‘When the plaintiff initiates the action, the defendant named in the writ shall be summoned to answer at the next court of portmensmoot.’
    • ‘In a broad sense, and absent some statutory provision, the writ of habeas corpus ad subjiciendum is available to secure the liberty of a person improperly detained -’
    • ‘Where bureaucrats are not following due process or doing their job, and are sitting on their hands or dragging their feet, citizens have the right to bring to the courts a writ of mandamus.’
    summons, subpoena, warrant, arraignment, indictment, court order, process, decree
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1one's writ One's power to enforce compliance or submission; one's authority.
      ‘you have business here which is out of my writ and competence’
      • ‘he uttered no protest against the writ in which William King of England - the new-fangled title was now coming in - announced to all his faithful subjects, French and English, that he had given the archbishopric of Canterbury and all that belonged to it to Archbishop Anselm.’
      • ‘The land itself is his gift; whoever owns any portion of it must show the writ and seal of the giver, or must at least bring such evidence as the law demands to prove that it has really been granted to him.’
      • ‘Azor holds this land from Robert [d' Oilly], but the men of the Hundred testify that he ought to hold it from the King, as King William restored it to him at Windsor and gave him his writ for it.’

Origin

Old English, as a general term denoting written matter, from the Germanic base of write.

Pronunciation

writ

/rɪt//rit/

Main definitions of writ in English

: writ1writ2

writ2

verb

  • archaic past participle of write
    • ‘And no doubt it is part of our middle western definition of community, writ in the dictionary of our hearts, not scrawled on some public wall.’
    • ‘Was it writ all over my face that I was a first time visitor to their city, with my nerves in top gear?’
    • ‘For words of love are writ on the brows of men, on their lips are promises of tomorrow.’
    • ‘Surprise and disbelief was writ on the faces of many of the members, as they could hardly believe that they had made so much money within a month.’
    • ‘There is no dogma - ‘… none of these are writ in stone’ - is one comment on his site.’

Phrases

  • writ large

    • 1Clear and obvious.

      ‘the unspoken question writ large upon Rose's face’
      • ‘‘Unlike in the past when we had to scout for enrolment, now there is a positive signal from youngsters,’ he says with contentment writ large on his face.’
      • ‘Inside, the murals and detailing were exquisite, but perhaps the images that stayed with us the most were those of the monks clad in their red robes - serenity writ large on their seemingly ageless faces.’
      • ‘Grievance writ large over their collective visages, the protesters crisscrossed the streets, and aired their eternally pending demands.’
      • ‘I find everyone having check ups these days,’ he asked, with worry writ large on his face.’
      • ‘The boys in their attempt to earn their daily bread clean tables and collect used plates and tumblers, with the disappointment writ large on their faces on finding children of the same age group enjoy delicious dishes.’
      • ‘The futility of war, the folly and the horror, and the lies that serve the bloodshed of the battlefield are writ large across Peter Whelan's The Accrington Pals.’
      • ‘That observation is writ large if one looks at the history of the bill.’
      • ‘After the public reading of expansive excerpts of her work the previous evening, one noticed that a huge discomfort was writ large on the faces of the accompanying family.’
      • ‘The pain and disappointment of the defeat was writ large across the faces of the Great Britain players as they trudged from the field, but coach Brian Noble remained stoical.’
      • ‘Fear and despair were writ large on their faces.’
      • ‘The children, with enthusiasm writ large on their faces, engage themselves in making small mountains of the sand, so that they could have an elevated seating for a better view.’
      • ‘The anger of victims confronted with the complacency and hostility of local and federal authorities was writ large on their faces and made clear in their comments to reporters.’
      • ‘‘Kodiyattam’ has now gained a legitimate place among the traditional art of the country, she claims with satisfaction writ large on her face.’
      • ‘However, not knowing any other mode to express their reverence, few students just fell on his feet and returned to their seats with a sense of pride writ large on their faces.’
      • ‘Children had unlimited fun with excitement and enthusiasm writ large on their faces as they tried their hands at shooting the balloons and their moms standing beside and encouraging them.’
      • ‘In this village, distress and despair are writ large on the faces of nearly 100 widows and their 350 orphan children.’
      • ‘The pain of losing to their great rivals one of the three trophies they won during their all-conquering 2003 season was writ large on the faces of the Bradford players, who displayed a steely sense of purpose from the outset.’
      • ‘Shock and disbelief were writ large on the faces as irate depositors thronged the bank's Sector 8 branch to know the status of their deposits.’
      • ‘Obviously, dejection was writ large on his face, as he could not get more ‘coverage’.’
      • ‘The ‘Eight Young Painters Show’ that is now on at the Alliance Francaise has youth and exuberance writ large over each canvas.’
      1. 1.1In a stark or exaggerated form.
        ‘bribing people by way of tax allowances is the paternalistic state writ large’
        • ‘But I think that the superhero-as-metaphor involves a superhero being some sort of intellectual, emotional, or other such concept writ large.’
        • ‘The supercharged psyche of young adulthood is writ large on the landscape: nothing is as it seems, and every tiny item - a rock, a song, a glance - means more than it can possibly say.’
        • ‘As we bear witness to the inevitable permutations that characterize human frailty writ large, the recording and preservation of memory is a cultural imperative.’
        • ‘Of course there are detractors who see such increased production of content by the ‘average’ person as nothing more than vanity presses writ large and gone multimedia.’
        • ‘‘A serious nonfiction book is not a piece of journalism writ large,’ they observe.’
        • ‘Countries are just human beings writ large, and human beings, by and large, are a law-abiding bunch, because most of the time obeying those laws is convenient.’
        • ‘Foer's work locates itself somewhere in this shifting landscape, between memory and monumentality, image and immortality: it's the personal odyssey writ large.’
        • ‘This is a critical incident writ large of the type my colleagues and I have advised about, studied, and written about over a period of eight years.’
        • ‘But in fact, Australia's fortunes went up and went down; we won some and we lost some; history is simply life writ large.’
        • ‘Plato had rooted his perfect society in a meta-biological metaphor, namely: the State was man writ large.’
        • ‘The Cape Town property experience appears to be the old ‘location, location, location’ principle writ large.’
        • ‘Whether this approach, writ large, proves to be ‘suitable to governing a modern democracy’ remains to be seen.’
        • ‘As before, the drawings supported a rock persona writ large.’

Pronunciation

writ

/rit//rɪt/