quo warranto: Meaning and Definition of

quo war•ran•to

Pronunciation: (kwō wô-ran'tō, wo-), [key]
— Law. Law.
  1. (formerly, in England) a writ calling upon a person to show by what authority he or she claims an office, franchise, or liberty.
  2. (in England and the U.S.) a trial, hearing, or other legal proceeding initiated to determine by what authority one has an office, franchise, or liberty.
  3. the pleading initiating such a proceeding.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.