mid-14c., legal term for various types of clauses in real estate transactions, from Anglo-French and Old North French warantie "protection, defense, safeguard" (Old French garantie), from warant (see warrant (n.)).
Entries linking to warranty
c. 1200, "protector, defender," from Old North French warant "defender; surety, pledge; justifying evidence" (Old French garant), from Frankish *warand, from Proto-Germanic *war- "to warn, guard, protect" (source also of Old High German werento "guarantor," noun use of present participle of weren "to authorize, warrant;" German gewähren "to grant"), from PIE root *wer- (4) "to cover."
Sense evolved via notion of "permission from a superior which protects one from blame or responsibility" (early 14c.) to "document conveying authority" (1510s). A warrant officer in the military is one who holds office by warrant (as from a government department), rather than by commission (from a head of state).
because g- followed by some vowels in English usually has a "soft" pronunciation, a silent -u- sometimes was inserted between the g- and the vowel in Middle English to signal hardness, especially in words from French; but this was not done with many Scandinavian words where hard "g" precedes a vowel (gear, get, give, etc.). Germanic -w- generally became -gu- in words borrowed into Romance languages, but Old North French preserved the Frankish -w-, and English sometimes borrowed both forms, hence guarantee/warranty, guard/ward, etc.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to cover."
It forms all or part of: aperitif; apertive; aperture; barbican; cover; covert; curfew; discover; garage; garment; garnish; garret; garrison; guarantee; guaranty; kerchief; landwehr; operculum; overt; overture; pert; warn; warrant; warrantee; warranty; warren; wat; Wehrmacht; weir.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit vatah "enclosure," vrnoti "covers, wraps, shuts;" Lithuanian užveriu, užverti "to shut, to close;" Old Persian *pari-varaka "protective;" Latin (op)erire "to cover," (ap)erire "open, uncover" (with ap- "off, away"); Old Church Slavonic vora "sealed, closed," vreti "shut;" Old Irish feronn "field," properly "enclosed land;" Old English wer "dam, fence, enclosure," German Wehr "defense, protection," Gothic warjan "to defend, protect."
updated on March 23, 2014