- Obs. the buying or selling of ecclesiastical or civil positions
- the criminal offense of habitually bringing about quarrels or lawsuits
- Maritime Law wrongful conduct on the part of a ship's officer or crew that results in loss to the owners
Origin of barratryFrench baraterie, origin, originally , misuse of office from barater: see barrator
- The act or practice of bringing a groundless lawsuit or lawsuits.
- An unlawful breach of duty on the part of a ship's master or crew resulting in injury to the ship's owner.
- Sale or purchase of positions in church or state.
Origin of barratryMiddle English barratrie the sale of church offices from Old French baraterie deception, malversation from barater to cheat ; see barrator .
Early 15th century, in sense “sale of offices”, from Old French baraterie (“deceit, trickery”), from barat (“fraud, deceit, trickery”), of Unknown origin, perhaps Celtic. In marine sense of “unlawful acts causing loss to owner”, 1620s.