Warrantee vs. warranty

A warranty is (1) a guarantee given by a company to a purchaser stating that a product will meet certain requirements during a given time, (2) official authorization, and (3) justification for a course of action. The word also has some legal uses that most of us will never have to use. A warrantee is someone to whom a warranty is given.



She figured the warranty, which cost $129.99, was a good investment on her $479 computer. [Chicago Tribune]

The suitcase carries an unconditional lifetime warranty that includes airline damage. [Telegraph]

Some Canadians are finding out that there can be a big gap when it comes to warranties too. [CTV]

5 thoughts on “Warrantee vs. warranty”

  1. Surely in the meaning of “authorization” or “justification”, the better word is “warrant”, as in “arrest warrant”. It warrants consideration, at any rate.

  2. What about guarantee and guarantor? Is the former a synonym to warranty and the latter the party whom the warrantee must turn to should there be any problem?

    This one is really tricky!

    • It is tricky. I was starting to try to explain but I’ve realized it would be better to direct you to Merriam Webster or another dictionary. Basically, yes guarantee and warranty as nouns are more or less synonymous, but they have slightly different inferences.

      And, guarantor is the one making the guarantee.

  3. Reaching for the OED: warranty derives from warrant, in turn from Norman French garante. Guarantee is a phonetic misuse of the modern French garantie, To make things more confusing, a guarantee, in reference to a person, originally meant someone who gives a guaranty; guarantor was a later coinage, arising out of a misconception about the -ee ending. To straighten out the mess, we could define what is commonly called a guarantee/warranty as, more simply, a warrant given by a warrantor/guarantor to a warantee/guarantee. But usage ain’t rational, and legal usage is encumbered by history. How we complicate things by trying to be fancy. Another example: a burglar is someone who burgles, but the verb to burgle seems to have vanished from Anerican English and been replaced by “burglarize”. From which presumably a burglary would be a “burglarization”, and maybe 100 years from now, the perpetrator will be a “burglarizationer” and the victim a “burglarizationee”. Come to think of it, what is the victim of a burglary? A burglee?


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