Pronunciation: (kwō wô-ran'tō, wo-), [key] 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.