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Meaning of habeas corpus

ha•be•as cor•pus

Pronunciation: (hā'bē-us kôr'pus), [key]
— Law. Law.
  1. a writ requiring a person to be brought before a judge or court, esp. for investigation of a restraint of the person's liberty, used as a protection against illegal imprisonment.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.