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FindLaw Legal Dictionary

The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.


Wade Hearing
see hearing
1 : a payment usually of money for labor or services usually according to a contract and on an hourly, daily, or piecework basis often used in pl. 2 pl : the share of the national product ...
Wage Assignment
see assignment
Wait And See
: a doctrine in property law that postpones determining the question of validity of a future interest that has not yet vested (as a contingent remainder) until circumstances make clear whether or not ...
waived waiv·ing [Anglo-French waiver weiver, literally to abandon, forsake, from waif weif forlorn, stray, probably from Old Norse veif something loose or flapping] 1 : to relinquish (as a right ...
[Anglo-French, from waiver to waive] : the act of intentionally or knowingly relinquishing or abandoning a known right, claim, or privilege ;also : the legal instrument evidencing such an act ...
Waiver Of Ineligibility
In immigration law certain foreign nationals are ineligible for visas to enter the United States for medical, criminal, security or other conditions and activities. Some applicants for visas are able ...
Walk Through
the final inspection of a property being sold by the buyer to confirm that any contingencies specified in the purchase agreement such as repairs have been completed, fixture and non-fixture property ...
1 : strike 2 : the action of leaving a meeting or organization as an expression of disapproval
: manifesting extreme indifference to a risk of injury to another that is known or should have been known : characterized by knowledge of and utter disregard for probability of resulting harm [a ...
Acronym for Wireless Application Protocol. WAP is a widely used set of protocols that standardize the manner in which wireless devices, such as cell phones and some PDAs, are able to access parts of ...
War Crime
: an act committed usually during an international war for which individual criminal liability will be imposed by a domestic or international tribunal ;specif : a violation of the laws or customs of ...
War Criminal
: an individual who has committed a war crime
War Powers
see power
War Risk Insurance
: insurance that protects against loss due to acts of war
1 : a division of a city for representative, electoral, or administrative purposes 2 a : a person who by reason of incapacity (as minority or incompetency) is under the control of a guardian b : a ...
[Anglo-French wardein gardein guardian, from warder garder to guard, protect] 1 : an official charged with special supervisory duties or with the enforcement of specified laws or regulations [a game ...
Warehouse Receipt
: a receipt issued by a person engaged in the business of storage for hire that constitutes a document of title
Warez refers to software that has been cracked, or stripped of its copy protection, and made freely available for downloading. See Cracker.
[Anglo-French warant garant protector, guarantor, authority, authorization, of Germanic origin] 1 : warranty [an implied of fitness] 2 : a commission or document giving authority to do something: ...
Warrant Of Attorney
:a power of attorney authorizing another (as an attorney) to appear in court and confess judgment on the grantor's behalf
: a person to whom a warranty is given or made
: a person who makes or gives a warranty
pl: -ties [modification (influenced by warrant) of Anglo-French garantie, from garantir to protect, warrant] 1 : a promise in a deed that gives the grantee of an estate recourse (as through an action ...
Warranty Deed
see deed
Warranty Of Fitness
see warranty
Warranty Of Merchantability (Fitness For A Particular Purpose)
A promise arising by operation of law that something sold shall be merchantable and fit for the purpose required.
Wash Sale
[probably from the comparison of such a sale to the act of washing, which does not affect the nature of the thing washed] : a sale and purchase of securities that produces no change of the beneficial ...
1 : destruction of or damage to property that is caused by the act or omission of one (as a lessee, mortgagor, or life tenant) having a lesser estate and is usually to the injury of another (as an ...
Wasting Asset
see asset
Water Court
: a court in Colorado and Montana with jurisdiction over the determination and administration of rights to water
Watered Stock
see stock
Way Of Necessity
:easement by implication at easement
Ways And Means
1 : methods and resources for raising the necessary revenues for the expenses of a nation or state 2 often cap W&M : a legislative committee with jurisdiction over ways and means
Weak Mark
: a trademark or service mark that is descriptive or suggestive of the product or service and entitled to a lesser degree of protection than a strong mark compare strong mark
A Web Site includes documents and/or pages with URLs beginning with the same hostname. For example, and are pages on the same Web site, ...
Well-Pleaded Complaint Rule
: a rule of procedure that federal question jurisdiction cannot be acquired over a case unless an issue of federal law appears on the face of a properly pleaded complaint NOTE: The well-pleaded ...
Wharton's Rule
[after Francis Wharton (1820-89), American lawyer and author, who formulated it] : a rule that prohibits the prosecution of two persons for conspiracy to commit a particular offense when the offense ...
When-Issued Security
see security
: an employee who brings wrongdoing by an employer or other employees to the attention of a government or law enforcement agency and who is commonly vested by statute with rights and remedies for ...
White Knight
: a party (as a corporation) invited to take over a corporation and thereby prevent its acquisition by another compare raider
White-Collar Crime
: crime that is committed by salaried professional workers or persons in business and that usually involves a form of financial theft or fraud (as in securities dealing)
Whole Law
: the entire body of laws of a state including its provisions for conflict of laws compare internal law, renvoi
Whole Life Insurance
see life insurance
Wildcat Strike
see strike
var of willful
1 : the desire, inclination, or choice of a person or group 2 : the faculty of wishing, choosing, desiring, or intending 3 : a legal declaration of a person's wishes regarding the disposal of his ...
Will Contest
: a dispute or proceeding (as a trial) begun by one who objects to probate of a will on the ground that it is invalid see also no contest clause NOTE: The party who contests the will has the burden ...
Will Substitute
: a device (as a trust) used instead of a will to transfer property upon death
: capable of being willed
or wil·ful [wil-fəl] adj : not accidental : done deliberately or knowingly and often in conscious violation or disregard of the law, duty, or the rights of others [ injury] [a violation ...
Willful Blindness
: deliberate failure to make a reasonable inquiry of wrongdoing (as drug dealing in one's house) despite suspicion or an awareness of the high probability of its existence NOTE: Willful blindness ...
Wind Up
wound up wind·ing up : to bring to an end by taking care of unfinished business [ordered to wind up his practice] ;specif : to conclude by removing liabilities and distributing any remaining ...
Winding Up
Liquidating a business
Wire Fraud
see fraud
-tapped -tap·ping vi : to engage in wiretapping [had probable cause to ] vt : to interpret through wiretapping [a wiretapped telephone conversation] ;also : to connect to the telephone line of ...
: interception of the contents of communication through a secret connection to the telephone line of one whose conversations are to be monitored usually for purposes of criminal investigation by law ...
-drew -drawn -draw·ing vt 1 : to remove (money) from a place of deposit or investment 2 : to dismiss (a juror) from a jury 3 a : to eliminate from consideration or set outside a category or ...
1 : the act or fact of withdrawing [ from a conspiracy] 2 : removal of money from a place of deposit or investment [a penalty for early ]
Withholding Tax
: a deduction (as from wages, fees, or dividends) levied at a source of income as advance payment on income tax
[Old English witnes knowledge, testimony, witness, from wit mind, sense, knowledge] 1 a : attestation of a fact or event [in whereof the parties have executed this release] b : evidence (as of the ...
Witness Protection Program
: a state or federal program designed to protect prosecution witnesses in serious criminal cases esp. from bodily injury or tampering (as by providing aid in establishing a new identity in a new ...
Witness Stand
: stand
Word Mark
A type of trademark comprised of text.
Word Of Art
:term of art
Word Of Limitation
:a word in a deed or will esp. following the name of an intended grantee or devisee that serves to describe the nature or extent of the estate granted or devised usu. used in pl. [construed ...
Word Of Purchase
:a word in a deed or will that shows who is to receive the estate usu. used in pl. compare word of limitation
Work Made For Hire
: work (as art, music, writing, or a computer program) that is the property of an employer when made by one acting as an employee or is the property of the party for whom it is specially ordered or ...
Work Product
: the set of materials (as notes), mental impressions, conclusions, opinions, or legal theories developed by or for an attorney in anticipation of litigation or for trial
Work Product Doctrine
: a doctrine or rule that protects an attorney's work product from discovery called also work product rule NOTE: This doctrine applies to work product of all kinds, but it may be waived for certain ...
Work Release
: release of a prisoner from confinement during the day for the purpose of outside employment work-release adj
Work Stoppage
: a cessation of work by employees as a job action NOTE: Work stoppage is often used to refer to a cessation of work that is less serious and more spontaneous than one referred to as a strike. As ...
: the practice of working to the strictest interpretation of the rules as a job action
Workers' Compensation
1 : compensation for injury to an employee arising out of and in the course of employment that is paid to the worker or dependents by an employer whose strict liability for such compensation is ...
Workers' Compensation Insurance
: insurance purchased by an employer or created through self-insurance that provides coverage for workers' compensation claims by injured employees
: a correctional facility for persons guilty of minor criminal violations
Working Capital
see capital
Working Interest
see interest
Workman's Compensation
: workers' compensation
Workmen's Compensation
: workers' compensation
: an undertaking or plan intended to resolve a problem of indebtedness esp. in lieu of bankruptcy or foreclosure proceedings
An IRS document that is provided to the taxpayer to compile information and is not usually filed with the return.
World Bank
An international financial institution whose purposes include assisting the development of its member nations' territories, promoting and supplementing private foreign investment, and promoting ...
World Court
: international court of justice
Worthier Title
often cap W&T : a common-law doctrine providing that an heir receiving a devise of an estate that is the same as the estate he or she would receive by descent if the grantor died without a will ...
Wrap-Around Mortgage
see mortgage
[Old English, something written] 1 : a letter that was issued in the name of the English monarch from Anglo-Saxon times to declare his grants, wishes, and commands 2 : an order or mandatory process ...
Writ Of Certiorari
Writ Of Debt
Writ Of Error
see writ
Writ Of Garnishment
a means of enforcing a judgment in which the defendant's property (e.g., a bank account, wages, or any debt owed to the defendant by someone else) is to be seized and is in the hands of a third person ...
Writ Of Habeas Corpus
a document filed as a means of testing the legality of a restraint on a person's liberty, usually imprisonment. The writ commands the officials who have custody of a prisoner to bring the prisoner ...
Writ Of Right
see writ
Write Down
wrote down writ·ten down writ·ing down : to reduce the book value of (an asset) [write down accounts receivable] write-down [rīt-dan] n
Write Off
1 : to eliminate (an asset) from the books : enter as a loss or expense [write off a bad loan] 2 : to use as a deduction in calculating taxable income [write off the cost as a business expense]
Write Up
: to increase the book value of (an asset) write-up [rīt-əp] n
Written Premium
: premium received by an insurer in a particular period and esp. annually
1 : a violation of the rights of another ;esp : tort 2 : something (as conduct, practices, or qualities) contrary to justice, goodness, equity, or law [the difference between right and ]
: one (as a criminal or tortfeasor) who does wrong
: injurious, criminal, or improper behavior [denied any ]
1 : constituting a wrong ;esp : injurious to the rights of another [a act or omission] 2 : unlawful [remained in occupation of the property] [a occupant] wrong·ful·ly adv ...
Wrongful Birth
: a malpractice claim brought by the parents of a child born with a birth defect against a physician or health-care provider whose alleged negligence (as in prenatal testing or diagnosis) effectively ...
Wrongful Conception
: wrongful pregnancy
Wrongful Death
: a death caused by the negligent, willful, or wrongful act, neglect, omission, or default of another [sought damages for the wrongful death of their murdered daughter]
Wrongful Death Action
: an action that is brought by and in the name of the personal representative (as a spouse or parent) of one who dies a wrongful death and that seeks damages for the benefit of the survivors or the ...
Wrongful Discharge
see discharge
Wrongful Dishonor
: a wrongful refusal by a payor bank to honor an item that is properly payable [a payor bank is liable to its customer for damages proximately caused by the wrongful dishonor of an item "Uniform ...
Wrongful Life
: a malpractice claim brought by or on behalf of a child born with a birth defect alleging that he or she would never have been born if not for the negligent advice or treatment provided to the ...
Wrongful Pregnancy
: a malpractice claim brought by the parents of a healthy but unwanted child usually against a physician or health-care provider for alleged negligence in performing a sterilization or abortion ...
Acronym for What You See Is What You Get. Usually used in computer graphic/design circles, WYSIWYG, pronounced wiz-ee-wig, is a type of program that enables the programmer to see what the product ...
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