Writ (?), obs.

3d pers. sing. pres. of Write, for writeth.

Chaucer.

 

© Webster 1913.


Writ, archaic

imp. & p. p. of Write.

Dryden.

 

© Webster 1913.


Writ, n. [AS. writ, gewrit. 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 1913.

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