Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The charter of English political and civil liberties granted by King John at Runnymede in June 1215.
  • n. A document or piece of legislation that serves as a guarantee of basic rights.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A charter, granted by King John to the barons at Runnymede in 1215, that is a basis of English constitutional tradition.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • The great Charter, so called, obtained by the English barons from King John, A. D. 1215. This name is also given to the charter granted to the people of England in the ninth year of Henry III., and confirmed by Edward I.
  • Hence, a fundamental constitution which guaranties rights and privileges.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the royal charter of political rights given to rebellious English barons by King John in 1215

Etymologies

Middle English, from Medieval Latin : Latin magna, great + charta, charter.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin Magna Carta meaning "great charter". (Wiktionary)

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