Magistrate meaning

măjĭ-strāt, -strĭt
Frequency:
A minor official with limited judicial powers, as a justice of the peace or judge of a police court.
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A judge in a court having jurisdiction over the trial of misdemeanors and preliminary hearings involving felonies.
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A public official with the chief administrative power in a district or region.
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A judge or justice of a local or inferior court; a justice of the peace.
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The definition of a magistrate is a civil or lay judge or other official who is responsible for administering and enforcing the laws, usually by holding hearings on minor offenses.

A judge that hears traffic ticket cases and fines people is an example of a magistrate.

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A judicial officer of limited jurisdiction or responsibility; colloquially used as a synonym for judge.
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(law) A judicial officer with limited authority to administer and enforce the law. A magistrate's court may have jurisdiction in civil or criminal cases, or both.
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A civil officer empowered to administer the law.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
magistrate
Plural:
magistrates

Origin of magistrate

  • Middle English magistrat from Old French from Latin magistrātus from magister magistr- master meg- in Indo-European roots

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