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 a particular way.

    ‘the two reinstated officers issued a writ for libel against the applicants’
    ‘an action begun by writ or summons’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Where a court or a public officer wrongly refuses jurisdiction the exercise of the jurisdiction can be commanded by a writ of mandamus.’
    • ‘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 -’
    • ‘It was in the context of a privative clause in relation to the ability of courts to issue prerogative writs.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I have no problem with it in terms of the prerogative writs; the courts have a discretion there.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘In September 2004, the applicant filed an application in the High Court for the constitutional writs of certiorari and mandamus.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When the plaintiff initiates the action, the defendant named in the writ shall be summoned to answer at the next court of portmensmoot.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You or your representative has the right to go to a court and seek a writ of habeas corpus.’
    summons, subpoena, warrant, arraignment, indictment, court order, process, decree
    citation
    subpoena ad testificandum
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1British A Crown document summoning a peer to Parliament or ordering the election of a member or members of Parliament.
      • ‘The writ of election, issued this week by Commissioner Peter Irniq, says the nomination period will begin July 19 and end at 2 p.m. on July 29.’
      • ‘If the government is really determined to quickly close the rolls, it may be forced to issue writs for a House election as soon as it announces the poll.’
      • ‘This was the day that the writ for the election of members of this Parliament was returned.’
      • ‘You would have to be developing this now, rather than waking up the day that writs are issued for election and wanting to build this within a couple of weeks.’
      • ‘Candidates can readily enough be nominated after the election writ is dropped.’
      • ‘The by-election is unlikely to take place until mid-October at the earliest because the writ for the poll cannot be moved until Parliament is in session.’
      • ‘Clark said nominations for the election will close July 2, following the issuing of the election writs June 25.’
    2. 1.2One's power to enforce compliance or submission; one's authority.
      ‘you have business here which is out of my writ and competence’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2archaic A piece or body of writing.

    • ‘And Percivale took it, and found therein a writ and so he read it, and devised the manner of the spindles and of the ship, whence it came, and by whom it was made.’
    • ‘This is the first few lines of a writ of Henry III, from 1234.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

writ

/rɪt/

Main definitions of writ in English

: writ1writ2

writ2

verb

  • archaic past participle of write
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Was it writ all over my face that I was a first time visitor to their city, with my nerves in top gear?’
    • ‘There is no dogma - ‘… none of these are writ in stone’ - is one comment on his site.’
    • ‘For words of love are writ on the brows of men, on their lips are promises of tomorrow.’
    • ‘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.’

Pronunciation:

writ

/rɪt/