habeas corpus

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Latin habeas corpus ad subjiciendum(You (shall) have the body to be subjected to (examination)), referring to the body of the person being detained (not the body of a victim, as in corpus delicti).


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habeas corpus ‎(plural habeas corpora or habeas corpuses)

  1. (law) A writ to bring a person before a court or a judge, most frequently used to ensure that a person's imprisonment, detention, or commitment is legal.

Derived terms[edit]



habeas corpus ‎(third-person singular simple present habeas corpuses, present participle habeas corpusing, simple past and past participle habeas corpused)

  1. (slang, law) To apply the legal principle of habeas corpus to an individual or situation.

Related terms[edit]


  • habeas corpus at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • habeas corpus” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).
  • habeas corpus” in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Online.