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quo warranto

[kwoh waw-ran-toh, wo-] /kwoʊ wɔˈræn toʊ, wɒ-/
noun, Law.
(formerly, in England) a writ calling upon a person to show by what authority he or she claims an office, franchise, or liberty.
(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.
the pleading initiating such a proceeding.
Origin of quo warranto
1250-1300; Middle English < Medieval Latin quō warrantō by what warrant Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for quo-warranto

quo warranto

/ˈkwəʊ wɒˈræntəʊ/
(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-warranto

quo warranto

Medieval Latin, literally "by what warrant," from quo "from, with, or by whom or what?," ablative of interrogative pronoun quis "who?" (see who).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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