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WARRANT, verb transitive [The primary sense of the root is to stop or hold, or to repel, and thus guard by resisting danger; as we say, to keep off. Hence the sense of security. See Guard and Garrison.]

1. To authorize; to give authority or power to do or forbear any thing, by which the person authorized is secured or saved harmless from any loss or damage by the act. A commission warrants an officer to seize an enemy. We are not warranted to resist legitimate government. Except in extreme cases.

2. To maintain; to support by authority or proof.

Reason warrants it, and we may safely receive it as true.

3. To justify.

True fortitude is seen in great exploits, that justice warrants, and that wisdom guides.

4. To secure; to exempt; to privilege..

Ill warrant him from drowning.

In a place less warranted than this, or less secure, I cannot be--

5. To declare with assurance.

My neck is as smooth as silk, I warrant ye.

6. In law, to secure to a grantee an estate granted; to assure.

7. To secure to a purchaser of goods the title to the same; or to indemnify him against loss.

8. To secure to a purchaser the good quality of the goods sold. [See Warranty.]

9. To assure that a thing is what it appears to be, which implies a covenant to make good any defect or loss incurred by it.


1. An act, instrument or obligation, by which one person authorizes another to do something which he has not otherwise a right to do; an act or instrument investing one with a right or authority, and thus securing him from loss or damage; a word of general application.

2. A precept authorizing an officer to seize an offender and bring him to justice. A general warrant to seize suspected persons, is illegal.

3. Authority; power that authorizes or justifies any act. Those who preach the gospel have the warrant of Scripture. We have the warrant of natural right to do what the laws do not forbid; but civility and propriety may sometimes render things improper, which natural right warrants.

4. A commission that gives authority, or that justifies.

5. A voucher; that which attests or proves.

6. Right; legality.

Theres warrant in that theft which steals itself when theres no mercy left.

7. A writing which authorizes a person to receive money or other thing.

WARRANT of attorney, that by which a man appoints another to act in his name, and warrants his transaction.

Land warrant is an instrument or writing issued by the proper officer, authorizing a person to locate or take up a tract of new or uncultivated land.

Search warrant a precept authorizing a person to enter houses, shops, etc. to search for a criminal, for stolen or smuggled goods.

WARRANT officer, an officer holding a warrant from the navy board, such as the master, surgeon, purser, etc. of a ship.