In financial transactions, a warrant is a written order by one person that instructs or authorises another person to pay a specified recipient a specific amount of money or supply goods at a specific date. A warrant may or may not be negotiable and may be a bearer instrument that authorises payment to the warrant holder on demand or after a specific date. Governments and businesses may pay wages and other accounts by issuing warrants instead of cheques.
Warrants were used in the 18th century by the military to authorize payments to soldiers and suppliers. George Washington, for example, signed warrants that ordered quartermasters to deliver money or acquire supplies. These warrants were used by quartermasters to issue vouchers to acquire food, supplies, munitions, clothing, transportation, etc., for the use of the American military and to maintain Washington's headquarters. Warrants could be redeemed by the army paymasters, but most often they were used like cash b