Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Writ

Writ

,
obs.
3d p
ers.
s
ing.
p
res.
of
Write
, for writeth.
Chaucer.

Writ

,
archaic
imp.
&
p.
p.
of
Write
.
Dryden.

Writ

,
Noun.
[AS.
writ
, ge
writ
. See
Write
.]
1.
That which is written; writing; scripture; – applied especially to the Scriptures, or the books of the Old and New testaments;
as, sacred
writ
.
“Though in Holy Writ not named.”
Milton.
Then to his hands that
writ
he did betake,
Which he disclosing read, thus as the paper spake.
Spenser.
Babylon, so much spoken of in Holy
Writ
.
Knolles.
2.
(Law)
An instrument in writing, under seal, in an epistolary form, issued from the proper authority, commanding the performance or nonperformance of some act by the person to whom it is directed;
as, a
writ
of entry, of error, of execution, of injunction, of mandamus, of return, of summons, and the like
.
Writs are usually witnessed, or tested, in the name of the chief justice or principal judge of the court out of which they are issued; and those directed to a sheriff, or other ministerial officer, require him to return them on a day specified. In former English law and practice, writs in civil cases were either original or judicial; the former were issued out of the Court of Chancery, under the great seal, for the summoning of a defendant to appear, and were granted before the suit began and in order to begin the same; the latter were issued out of the court where the original was returned, after the suit was begun and during the pendency of it. Tomlins. Brande. Encyc. Brit. The term writ is supposed by Mr. Reeves to have been derived from the fact of these formulae having always been expressed in writing, being, in this respect, distinguished from the other proceedings in the ancient action, which were conducted orally.
Writ of account
,
Writ of capias
,
etc. See under
Account
,
Capias
, etc.
Service of a writ
.
See under
Service
.

Webster 1828 Edition


Writ

WRIT

,
Noun.
[from write.]
1.
That which is written. In this sense, writ is particularly applied to the Scriptures, or books of the Old Testament and New Testament; as holy writ; sacred writ.
2.
In law, precept issued from the proper authority to the sheriff, his deputy or other subordinate officer, commanding him to perform some act, as to summon a defendant into court to answer, and the like.
In England, writs are issued from some court under seal. In some of the United States, writs are issued by any single judge or justice of the peace, in the name and by the authority of the senate.
In some of the United States, the writ in a civil suit, contains both the summons and the plaintiffs declaration or cause of action set forth at large, and a writ is either a summons or an attachment.
Writs are original or judicial. An original writ, in England, is issued from the high court of chancery. A judicial writ is issued by order of a court upon a special occasion, during the pendency of the suit.
Writs are of various kinds; as writs of assize; writs of capias; writs of distringas, &c.
3.
A legal instrument.

WRIT

, pret. of write, is not now used. [See Write and Wrote.]

Definition 2022


writ

writ

English

Noun

writ (plural writs)

  1. (law) A written order, issued by a court, ordering someone to do (or stop doing) something.
  2. authority, power to enforce compliance
    • 2009, Stephen Gale et al., The War on Terrorism: 21st-Century Perspectives, Transaction Publishers, ISBN 9781412808378, page 30:
      We can't let them take advantage of the fact that there are so many areas of the world where no one's writ runs.
  3. (obsolete) that which is written; writing
    • Spenser
      Then to his hands that writ he did betake, / Which he disclosing read, thus as the paper spake.
    • Knolles
      Babylon, so much spoken of in Holy Writ

Derived terms

Synonyms

  • claim form (English law)

Translations

References

  • Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

Verb

writ

  1. (archaic, nonstandard) past tense of write
  2. (archaic, nonstandard) past participle of write
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)
    • Omar Khayyam (in translation)
      The moving finger writes, and having writ, not all your piety or wit can lure it back to cancel half a line []
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, Book IV, chapter i
      For as this is the liquor of modern historians, nay, perhaps their muse, if we may believe the opinion of Butler, who attributes inspiration to ale, it ought likewise to be the potation of their readers, since every book ought to be read with the same spirit and in the same manner as it is writ.

Usage notes

  • The form writ survives in standard dialects only in the phrase writ large, though it remains common in some dialects (e.g. Scouse).

Related terms


Gothic

Romanization

writ

  1. Romanization of 𐍅𐍂𐌹𐍄

Old English

Alternative forms

  • ġewrit

Etymology

From Proto-Germanic *writą, whence also Old High German riz, Old Norse rit

Noun

writ n

  1. writ