Certiorari Definition

sûrshē-ə-rârē, -rärē
A discretionary writ from a higher court to a lower one, or to a board or official with some judicial power, requesting the record of a case for review.
Webster's New World

To be more fully informed. A writ issued at the discretion of an appellate court directing a lower court to certify and deliver the record of a case that is not appealable as of right to the appellate court for possible review. See also appeal and writ of error.

Webster's New World Law

(US, law) A grant of the right of an appeal to be heard by an appellate court where that court has discretion to choose which appeals it will hear.


Other Word Forms of Certiorari



Origin of Certiorari

  • Middle English from Latin certiorārī (volumus) (we wish) to be informed (words in the writ) passive of certiōrāre to inform, apprise from certior comparative of certus certain certain

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Law Latin present passive infinitive of certioro, a contraction of certiorem facere ("to search", literally "to make certain").

    From Wiktionary

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