Barratry Definition

bărə-trē
barratries
noun
barratries
The act or practice of bringing a groundless lawsuit or lawsuits.
American Heritage
The buying or selling of ecclesiastical or civil positions.
Webster's New World
An unlawful breach of duty on the part of a ship's master or crew resulting in injury to the ship's owner.
American Heritage
The criminal offense of habitually bringing about quarrels or lawsuits.
Webster's New World
Sale or purchase of positions in church or state.
American Heritage
Synonyms:
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Other Word Forms of Barratry

Noun

Singular:
barratry
Plural:
barratries

Origin of Barratry

  • 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.

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English barratrie the sale of church offices from Old French baraterie deception, malversation from barater to cheat barrator

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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