Waiver Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Waiver, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Waiver?

(n) Waiver the process of giving up any right on anything with a voluntary action or non action. Waiver of a right can be temporary or permanent nature. For example if rent is waived for one month by refusing to accept, it does not mean rent is waived for ever. Where a settlement is accepted and document exchanged as token the waiver can be permanent.

History and Meaning of Waiver

Waiver is a legal concept that refers to the voluntary relinquishment or abandonment of a particular right, claim or privilege. The term has its roots in Old French, derived from the verb 'weyver' which means to relinquish or abandon. The purpose of a waiver is to release an individual or organization from liability or obligation by their own choice or agreement.

In legal terms, a waiver is a formal legal document or a written statement that acknowledges the transfer of specific rights, privileges, or claims from one party to another. It can be either temporary or permanent and is usually executed between two parties in mutual agreement. A waiver can only be legally binding if it is voluntary, with both parties fully understanding the consequences and implications of its terms.

Examples of Waiver

Here are a few examples of how the term "waiver" can be used in different contexts:

  1. A liability waiver is often signed before participating in an activity like bungee jumping or skydiving. The participant acknowledges the risks involved and waives their right to sue the operator in case of any injury or harm caused during the activity.

  2. In a contract, a waiver clause may be included whereby one party agrees to waive its rights to terminate the contract in certain circumstances.

  3. In litigation, a plaintiff may waive their right to a trial by jury, instead opting for a bench trial where the judge alone decides the case.

  4. A landlord may waive their right to collect rent for a month if the tenant agrees to perform repairs or upgrades to the property.

Legal Terms Similar to Waiver

Other legal terms related to waiver include:

  1. Release: A legal document that transfers any ongoing or future liability from one party to another.

  2. Forbearance: An agreement between two or more parties whereby one party agrees to delay, refrain from, or reduce its claims against another party for a set period of time.

  3. Estoppel: A legal doctrine whereby a party is prevented from asserting or denying a fact because of its prior actions or statements.