- The Magna Carta is defined as a legal document signed by King John of England on June 15, 1215 which stopped taxation without legislative approval and guaranteed a trial or legal process before taking a person's liberty or property.
An example of the Magna Carta was a document that gave the Englishman the right to have a trial before his property was taken due to unpaid back taxes.
A replica of the Magna Carta.Licensed from iStockPhoto
or Magna Charta
Origin: ML, literally , great charter
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
or Mag·na Char·tanoun
- The charter of English political and civil liberties granted by King John at Runnymede in June 1215.
- A document or piece of legislation that serves as a guarantee of basic rights.
Origin: Middle English, from Medieval Latin : Latin magna, great + charta, charter.
Magna Carta - Cultural Definition
A list of rights and privileges that King John of England signed under pressure from English noblemen in 1215. It established the principles that the king could not levy taxes without consent of his legislature, or parliament, and that no free man in England could be deprived of liberty or property except through a trial or other legal process.