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1 a : to give (an official account or report) to a superior (as by a list or statement) [ the names of all residents in the ward] [ a list of jurors]
b : to bring back (as a writ, verdict, or indictment) to an office or tribunal [the sheriff must the execution…to the proper clerk within sixty days "J. H. Friedenthal et al."] [the grand jury ed six indictments] [ed a verdict of not guilty]
2 : to bring in or produce (as earnings or profit)
n 1 a : the delivery of a court order (as a writ) to the proper officer or court
b : proof of service
2 : return day
3 : an account or formal report (as of an action performed or duty discharged or of facts and statistics) [census s]
: a set of tabulated statistics prepared for general information usually used in pl.
4 a : a report of the results of balloting [election s]
b : an official declaration of the election of a candidate [each house shall be the judge of the elections, s, and qualifications of its own members "U.S. Constitution art. I"]
5 : a formal document executed in accordance with law on a required form showing taxable income, allowable deductions and exemptions, and the computation of the tax due called also tax return
6 : the profit from labor, investment, or business
7 : something returned
: a paper (as a check or draft) calling for payment that is returned by a bank to the clearinghouse because of a defect (as lack of funds or insufficient endorsement)
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.