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[wawr-uh nt, wor-] /ˈwɔr ənt, ˈwɒr-/
authorization, sanction, or justification.
something that serves to give reliable or formal assurance of something; guarantee, pledge, or security.
Synonyms: warranty, surety.
something considered as having the force of a guarantee or as being positive assurance of a thing:
The cavalry and artillery were considered sure warrants of success.
a writing or document certifying or authorizing something, as a receipt, license, or commission.
Synonyms: permit, voucher, writ, order, chit.
Law. an instrument, issued by a magistrate, authorizing an officer to make an arrest, seize property, make a search, or carry a judgment into execution.
the certificate of authority or appointment issued to an officer of the armed forces below the rank of a commissioned officer.
a warehouse receipt.
a written authorization for the payment or receipt of money:
a treasury warrant.
verb (used with object)
to give authority to; authorize.
to give reason or sanction for; account for:
The circumstances warrant such measures.
to give one's word for; vouch for (often used with a clause to emphasize something asserted):
I'll warrant he did!
Synonyms: guarantee, attest, swear.
to give a formal assurance, or a guarantee or promise, to or for; guarantee:
to warrant someone honorable treatment; to warrant payment; to warrant safe delivery.
to guarantee the quantity, quality, and other representations of (an article, product, etc.), as to a purchaser.
to guarantee or secure title to (the purchaser of goods); assure indemnification against loss to.
Law. to guarantee title of an estate or other granted property (to a grantee).
Origin of warrant
1175-1225; (noun) Middle English warant < Anglo-French; Old French guarant < Germanic; compare Middle Low German warend, -ent warranty, noun use of present participle of waren to warrant; (v.) Middle English < Anglo-French warantir; Old French g(u)arantir, derivative of guarant; see guaranty
Related forms
warrantless, adjective
nonwarranted, adjective
prewarrant, noun, verb (used with object)
quasi-warranted, adjective
rewarrant, verb (used with object)
self-warranting, adjective
unwarranted, adjective
unwarrantedly, adverb
well-warranted, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unwarranted
  • He has since concluded that the concerns were unwarranted and prematurely ended his career.
  • Kim says there is no cause for concern about unwarranted punishments.
  • While sharks may have a fearsome reputation, it's largely unwarranted.
  • Again you are showing ignorance by throwing out unwarranted stereotypes.
  • Chefs add salt to compliment the meal, patrons pile on the extra salt that is unwarranted.
  • There can be no doubt that distrust of words is less harmful than unwarranted trust in them.
  • And in fact turn science minded and religious people off by your unwarranted attacks.
  • The service gives people an unwarranted sense of privacy.
  • My difficulty is coming to terms with unwarranted claims regarding evolution.
  • And their habit of selling against unwarranted price rises can act as a restraint on bouts of irrational exuberance.
British Dictionary definitions for unwarranted


lacking justification or authorization
another word for unwarrantable


anything that gives authority for an action or decision; authorization; sanction
a document that certifies or guarantees, such as a receipt for goods stored in a warehouse, a licence, or a commission
(law) an authorization issued by a magistrate or other official allowing a constable or other officer to search or seize property, arrest a person, or perform some other specified act
(in certain armed services) the official authority for the appointment of warrant officers
a security that functions as a stock option by giving the owner the right to buy ordinary shares in a company at a specified date, often at a specified price
verb (transitive)
to guarantee the quality, condition, etc, of (something)
to give authority or power to
to attest to or assure the character, worthiness, etc, of
to guarantee (a purchaser of merchandise) against loss of, damage to, or misrepresentation concerning the merchandise
(law) to guarantee (the title to an estate or other property)
to declare boldly and confidently
Derived Forms
warrantable, adjective
warrantability, noun
warrantably, adverb
warranter, noun
warrantless, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Anglo-French warrant, variant of Old French guarant, from guarantir to guarantee, of Germanic origin; compare guaranty
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 unwarranted

1570s, from un- (1) "not" + past participle of warrant (v.).



early 13c., "protector, defender," from Old North French warant (Old French garant), from Frankish *warand (cf. Old High German weren "to authorize, warrant," German gewähren "to grant"), from Proto-Germanic *war- "to warn, guard, protect," perhaps from PIE root *wer- "to cover" (cf. Latin vereri "to observe with awe, revere, respect, fear;" Greek ouros "watchman," horan "to see;" Hittite werite- "to see;" see weir).

Sense evolved via notion of "permission from a superior which protects one from blame or responsibility" (c.1300) to "document conveying authority" (1510s). A warrant officer in the military is one who holds office by warrant, rather than by commission.


late 13c., "to keep safe from danger," from Old North French warantir (Old French garantir), from warant (see warrant (n.)).

Meaning "to guarantee to be of quality" is attested from late 14c.; sense of "to guarantee as true" is recorded from c.1300. Related: Warranted; warranting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with unwarranted
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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