WRIT, ORIGINAL, practice, English law. An original writ is a mandatory letter issuing out of the court of chancery under the great seal and in a king's name, directed to the sheriff of the county where the injury is alleged to have been committed, containing a summary statement of the cause of complaint, and requiring him in most cases, to command the defendant to satisy the claim; and, on his failure to comply, then to summon him to appear in one of the superior courts of common law, there to account for his non-compliance. In some cases, however, it omits the former alternative, and requires the sheriff simply to enforce the appearance. Steph. Pl. 5.