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Warrant, subst. that which gives credit or authority; 1) assurance given, surety, pledge: the w. I have of your honourable disposition . . . makes it assured of acceptance. Lucr. Ded. H5 III, 1, 18 “which . . . each putter-out . . . will bring us good w. of,” Tp. III, 3, 49. “his worth is w. for his welcome,” Gent. II, 4, 102. if you be one (a woman), “as you are well expressed by all external --s,” Meas. II, 4, 137. “the w. is for yourself,” V, 83. “did but convey unto our fearful minds a doubtful w. of immediate death,” Err. I, 1, 69. “wonder not till further w.” Ado III, 2, 115. “cracking the strong w. of an oath,” R2 IV, 235. “which to prove fruit, hope gives not so much w.” H4B I, 3, 40. “upon thy princely w. I descend,” H6A V, 3, 143. “nothing spake in w. from himself,” R3 III, 7, 33. “I give thee w. of thy place,” Oth. III, 3, 20. “with w. of her virginity,” Per. IV, 2, 63. upon a w. == in reliance on sth.: “upon this w. shall you have access,” Gent. III, 2, 60. “I do know you, and dare upon the w. of my note commend a dear thing to you,” Lr III, 1, 18. “this gentleman vouching, and upon w. of bloody affirmation, his to be more fair” Cymb. I, 4, 63.
2) any thing that authorizes or justifies an act; authorization: “authority for sin, w. for blame,” Lucr. 620. “folly, in wisdom hatched, hath wisdom's w. . . . and wit's own grace to grace a learned fool,” LLL V, 2, 71. “what I shall incur to pass it, having no w.” Wint. II, 2, 58. under whose (God's) “w. I impeach thy wrong,” John II, 116. “there's law and w. for my curse,” III, 1, 184. “I hope your w. will bear out the deed,” IV, 1, 6. “to take their humours for a w. to break within the bloody house of life,” IV, 2, 209. “to give us w. from the hand of heaven,” V, 2, 66. “I do know the scope and w. limited unto my tongue,” V, 2, 66 “follow your envious courses; you have Christian w. for 'em,” H8 III, 2, 244. “do not cry havoc, where you should but hunt with modest w.” Cor. III, 1, 276. “a pattern, precedent and lively w. for me to perform the like,” Tit. V, 3, 44.
Especially == an instrument giving power to seize or execute an offender: Meas. I, 4, 74. IV, 2, 66. IV, 2, 66 IV, 2, 66 IV, 3, 44. V, 102. V, 102 John IV, 2, 70. R3 I, 3, 342. I, 4, 112. I, 4, 112 H8 I, 1, 216.
3) legality, right, allowance: “may we, with the w. of womanhood, . . . pursue him with any further revenge?” Wiv. IV, 2, 220. “there's w. in that theft,” Mcb. II, 3, 151. “it is a fetch of w.” Hml. II, 1, 38 (== an allowed stratagem. Qq a fetch of wit). “arts inhibited and out of w.” Oth. I, 2, 79. “your bride goes to that with shame which is her way to go with w.” Per. IV, 2, 139. cf. Wint. II, 2, 58.
4) voucher, attestation: “in any bill, w., quittance, or obligation,” Wiv. I, 1, 10.
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