wex definitions

a priori

A priori signals an assertion that is based on prior knowledge or intuition. In Latin, the term literally means ‘from [the] former’. An a priori determination is formed prior to investigation.

For example:


a priori assumption

An a priori assumption is an assumption that is presumed to be true without any assessment of the facts or without further proof. A priori is a Latin term that refers to a theoretical deduction made on a subject without a precise and detailed...


A.K.A. is the abbreviation of “also known as.” It is often used to specify a party’s aliases or nicknames in a case.

[Last updated in June of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]


A/R is the abbreviation for accounts receivable.

[Last updated in June of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]

ab initio

Ab initio is a Latin term that means "from the beginning” or “from inception.” Ab initio is used to indicate that some fact existed from the start of a relevant time period. It is often used as part of the phrase “void ab initio,” meaning...

ab intestato

Ab intestato is a Latin term meaning "by intestacy." The term refers to laws governing the succession of property after the previous owner of the property dies without a valid will.

[Last updated in June of 2022 by the Wex...

AB Trust

AB trust (also called a bypass trust or a credit shelter trust) is a tool used by well-off married individuals to legally maximize their estate tax exemptions.

The strategy involves creating two separate trusts after one...


ABA is an abbreviation for American Bar Association (ABA).

[Last updated in June of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]


Abandon refers to the act of abandonment. A party can “abandon” in multiple fields of law and abandoning generally, though not always, involves voluntarily giving up a right.

See abandonment for more information.


abandoned application

An “abandoned application” refers to the abandonment of a patent or trademark application. An application is removed from the docket of pending applications at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office when the applicant (either directly or...