American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Law An official order authorizing a person's execution.
- n. Something that destroys hope or expectation; a deathblow.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In law, an order from the proper authority for the execution of a criminal.
- n. Figuratively, anything which puts an end to hope or expectation.
- n. A warrant that authorizes capital punishment.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Law) That which puts an end to expectation, hope, or joy.
- n. a warrant to execute the death sentence
“On the execution being granted in the King's Bench Court, on the afternoon of the 28th of October 1618, he asked for a little time for pre - paration, but his request was refused, Bacon having already in his pocket the death warrant duly signed by the King before the meeting of the Court!”
“Only an Eagle could save him from the islands where fever reduced a man’s life expectancy to less than a year, from the dreadful, sweating disease that made Simmerson’s request into a virtual death warrant unless Sharpe resigned his hard-won commission.”
“They weren't, and it didn't, although hopes ran high when Loch and Parkes turned up a day later; they'd been released fifteen minutes before their vermilion death warrant arrived at the Board of Punishments.”
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