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A warrant (sense 4) issued on September 1, 1980, by the New York Army National Guard appointing someone as a sergeant

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English warant (protector; guard, shield, protection), from Anglo-Norman warrant, Old Northern French warant, warand, a variant of Old French guarant, garant, garand (assurance, guarantee; authorization, permission; protector; protection, safety) (modern French garant),[1] from Frankish *warand, present participle of *warjan (to fend off; to stop, thwart). The word is cognate with Old High German werento (guarantor).


warrant (plural warrants)

  1. (obsolete) A defender, a protector.
    • 1485 July 31, Thomas Malory, “Capitulum secūdum”, in [Le Morte Darthur], book X, [London]: [] [by William Caxton], OCLC 71490786, leaves 207, verso – 208, recto; republished as H[einrich] Oskar Sommer, editor, Le Morte Darthur [], London: Published by David Nutt, [], 1889, OCLC 890162034, page 415:
      And whanne I ſawe her makynge ſuche dole / I asked her who ſlewe her lorde ¶ Syre ſhe ſaid the falſest knyght of the world now lyuyng and he is the mooſt vylayne that euer man herd ſpeke of / and his name is ſir Breuſe ſaunce pyte / thenne for pyte I made the damoyſel to lepe on her palfroy / and I promyſed her to be her waraunt / and to helpe her to entyere her lord
  2. Authorization or certification; a sanction, as given by a superior.
  3. Something that provides assurance or confirmation; a guarantee or proof.
    a warrant of authenticity; a warrant for success
  4. An order that serves as authorization; especially a voucher authorizing payment or receipt of money.
  5. (finance) An option, usually issued together with another security and with a term at issue greater than a year, to buy other securities of the issuer.
  6. (law) A judicial writ authorizing an officer to make a search, seizure, or arrest, or to execute a judgment.
    an arrest warrant issued by the court
  7. (military) Short for warrant officer.
    1. A certificate of appointment given to a warrant officer.
  8. (New Zealand, road transport) A document certifying that a motor vehicle meets certain standards of mechanical soundness and safety; a warrant of fitness.

Alternative forms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English warrant, waranten (to give protection; to protect, shield; to assure, pledge, promise; to guarantee), from Anglo-Norman warantir, warandir, warentir, and Old Northern French warandir, warantir, variant forms of Old French guarantir (to protect) (modern French garantir),[2] a Romance formation from the noun: see etymology 1 above.


warrant (third-person singular simple present warrants, present participle warranting, simple past and past participle warranted)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To protect, keep safe (from danger).
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To give (someone) an assurance or guarantee (of something); also, with a double object: to guarantee (someone something).
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], “Diet Rectified in Substance”, in The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970, partition 2, section 2, member 1, subsection 1, page 200:
      Crato in a conſultation of his for a noble patient, tels him plainly, that if his Highneſſe will keepe but a good diet, hee will warrant him his former health.
  3. (transitive) To guarantee (something) to be (of a specified quality, value, etc.).
    • 1601, Ben Jonson, Poetaster or The Arraignment: [] , London: Printed [by R. Bradock] for M[atthew] L[ownes] [] , published 1602, OCLC 316392309, Act III, scene iv:
      Tuc[ca]. [] Can thy Author doe it impudently enough? / Hiſt[rio]. O, I warrant you, Captaine: and ſpitefully inough too; he ha's one of the moſt ouerflowing villanous wits, in Rome. He will ſlander any man that breathes; If he diſguſt him. / Tucca. I'le know the poor, egregious, nitty Raſcall; and he haue ſuch commendable Qualities, I'le cheriſh him: []
    • 1851 October 18, Herman Melville, “Knights and Squires”, in The Whale, 1st British edition, London: Richard Bentley, OCLC 14262177; Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, 14 November 1851, OCLC 57395299, page 125:
      The chief mate of the Pequod was Starbuck, a native of Nantucket, and a Quaker by descent. [] His pure tight skin was an excellent fit; and closely wrapped up in it, and embalmed with inner health and strength, like a revivified Egyptian, this Starbuck seemed prepared to endure for long ages to come, and to endure always, as now; for be it Polar snow or torrid sun, like a patent chronometer, his interior vitality was warranted to do well in all climates.
    • 1913, Mrs. [Marie] Belloc Lowndes, chapter I, in The Lodger, London: Methuen, OCLC 7780546; republished in Novels of Mystery: The Lodger; The Story of Ivy; What Really Happened, New York, N.Y.: Longmans, Green and Co., 55 Fifth Avenue, [1933], OCLC 2666860, page 2:
      Thus the red damask curtains which now shut out the fog-laden, drizzling atmosphere of the Marylebone Road, had cost a mere song, and yet they might have been warranted to last another thirty years. A great bargain also had been the excellent Axminster carpet which covered the floor; []
  4. (transitive) To guarantee as being true; (colloquial) to believe strongly.
    That tree is going to fall, I’ll warrant.
  5. (transitive) To authorize; to give (someone) sanction or warrant (to do something).
    I am warranted to search these premises fully.
  6. (transitive) To justify; to give grounds for.
    Circumstances arose that warranted the use of lethal force.


  1. ^ warant, n.” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 24 May 2018.
  2. ^ warenten, v.” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 24 May 2018; compare “warantīen, v.” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 24 May 2018.

Further reading[edit]



Borrowed from English warrant.


warrant m (invariable)

  1. warrant (document or certificate)