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[Latin, Let him beware.] A warning; admonition. A formal notice or warning given by an interested party to a court, judge, or ministerial officer in opposition to certain acts within his or her power and jurisdiction.

Originally, a caveat was a document that could be served on either a judge or a public official to give him or her notice that he or she should discontinue a certain proceeding until an opposing party was given an opportunity to be heard.

Used in the past by someone objecting to the appointment of an executor or administrator of an estate or to the granting of a patent for an invention, the term caveat is rarely used by modern attorneys.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. (kah-vee-ott) from Latin caveat for "let him beware." 1) a warning or caution. 2) a popular term used by lawyers to point out that there may be a hidden problem or defect. In effect, "I just want to warn you that..."

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


a formal notice requesting the court or officer to refrain from taking some specified action without giving prior notice to the person lodging the caveat, found in relation to wills and copyright; in Scotland a common form of process used to protect against miscellaneous interim orders.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

CAVEAT, practice. That he beware. Caveat is the name of a notice given by a party having an interest, to some officer, not to do an act, till the party giving the notice shall have been heard; as, a caveat to the register of wills, or judge of probate, not to permit a will to be proved, or not to grant letters of administration, until the party shall have been heard. A caveat is also frequently made to prevent a patent for inventions being issued. 1 Bouv. Inst. 71, 534; 1 Burn's Ecc. Law, 19, 263; Bac. Abr. Executors and Administrators, E 8; 3 Bl. Com. 246; Proctor's Pract. 68; 3 Bin. Rep. 314; 1 Siderf. 371 Poph. 133; Godolph. Orph. Leg. 258; 2 Brownl. 119; 2 Fonbl. Eq. book 4, pt. 2, c. 1, Sec. 3; Ayl. Parer. 145 Nelson's Ab. h.t.; Dane's Ab. c. 223, a. 15, Sec. 2, and a. 8, Sec. 22. See 2 Chit. Pr. 502, note b, for a form.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Other NATO forces that were nearby had caveats prohibiting their use in combat operations.
An unusual example concerning the doctrine of caveat emptor in the context of latent defects is the 1987 Ontario Supreme Court decision in Sevidal et al.
Therefore, The Strange Death of American Liberalism reads like a long string of caveats, though a consistently interesting one.
If there is any place where physicians and patients can rekindle an alliance, it's around is the very real threat of the health care industry's slide toward caveat emptor.
"Consequently, companies are more likely to offer signing bonuses to recruit staff-level candidates with experience in these areas." He adds, "Hiring managers also are becoming more creative in recruiting IT talent by offering benefits ranging from flexible hours and ongoing skills training to telecommuting options and relaxed business attire." Scileppi points out that signing bonuses often come with a caveat - that employees remain with the company for a specified period of time.
A prudent caveator under the statute should assert in the caveat that he or she is an "interested person"--someone who reasonably expects to be affected by the probate or lack of probate of the will.
This caveat aside, it is nevertheless a study which otherwise affords a thorough and compelling treatment of its subjects.
Prior to the discussion of results, a caveat regarding limitations should be noted.
One caveat: While the 10-page newsletter can be customized and articles can be dropped, the articles that are used are not to be altered in any way.
One caveat: they will be allowed to buy Part A, hospitalization, or Part A and Part B, major medical coverage, but not part B alone.
It was filed soon after the Maharashtra government filed a caveat on the Act before the Supreme Court.
'On April 14 we managed to register a personal caveat for the 16 land lots which were transferred.