Legal Dictionary


Definition of waive


    From Middle English, from en weyver ("to abandon", "to waive"), from Old French weyver, guever ("to abandon", "to give back"); also Old English weiven ("to abandon")


  • enPR: wāv, IPA: /weɪv/, SAMPA: /weIv/
  • Rhymes: -eɪv
  • Homophones: wave


waive (plural waives)

  1. (obsolete) A waif; a castaway. - John Donne
  2. (British, obsolete, law) A woman put out of the protection of the law.


to waive (third-person singular simple present waives, present participle waiving, simple past and past participle waived)

  1. (transitive) To relinquish; to give up claim to; not to insist on or claim; to refuse; to forego.

    He waiveth milk, and flesh, and all. - Geoffrey Chaucer

    We absolutely do renounce or waive our own opinions, absolutely yielding to the direction of others. - Barrow

  2. (transitive) To throw away; to cast off; to reject; to desert.
  3. (transitive, law) To throw away; to relinquish voluntarily, as a right which one may enforce if he chooses; to give up a right, privilege or restriction; as with a waiver.

    If you waive the right to be silent, anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.

  4. (transitive, British, obsolete, law) To desert; to abandon. - Alexander Mansfield Burrill
  5. (intransitive, obsolete) To turn aside; to recede.

    To waive from the word of Solomon. - Geoffrey Chaucer

Usage notes

The term was applied to a woman, in the same sense as outlaw to a man. A woman could not be outlawed, in the proper sense of the word, because, according to Bracton, she was never in law, that is, in a frankpledge or decennary; but she might be waived, and held as abandoned. -- Alexander Mansfield Burrill.

Derived terms

  • waivable

Related terms


  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.


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8.     lex causae
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