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quo warranto

[kwoh waw-ran-toh, wo-] /kwoʊ wɔˈræn toʊ, wɒ-/
noun, Law.
1.
(formerly, in England) a writ calling upon a person to show by what authority he or she claims an office, franchise, or liberty.
2.
(in England and the U.S.) a trial, hearing, or other legal proceeding initiated to determine by what authority one has an office, franchise, or liberty.
3.
the pleading initiating such a proceeding.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English < Medieval Latin quō warrantō by what warrant
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for quo warranti

quo warranto

/ˈkwəʊ wɒˈræntəʊ/
noun
1.
(law) a proceeding initiated to determine or (formerly) a writ demanding by what authority a person claims an office, franchise, or privilege
Word Origin
from Medieval Latin: by what warrant
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for quo warranti
quo warranto
from M.L., lit. "by what warrant."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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