Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An official who was formerly sent to carry out the orders of a civil or ecclesiastical court.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Formerly, an officer who attended magistrates and judges to execute their orders.
  • n. A messenger or officer who serves the process of an ecclesiastical court.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Formerly, an officer who attended magistrates and judges to execute their orders.
  • n. A messenger or officer who serves the process of an ecclesiastical court.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In Roman antiquity, any officer who attended magistrates and judges to execute their orders.
  • n. Any officer of a civil court, or his servant or attendant.
  • n. Any one who puts in an appearance; an appearer.
  • n. Eccles., a messenger or an officer who serves the process of a spiritual court; the lowest officer of an ecclesiastical tribunal.
  • n. The beadle in a university, who carries the mace.

Etymologies

Middle English, from Latin appāritor, from appāritus, past participle of appārēre, to appear; see appear.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin appāritor ("public servant"), from appareo ("I wait upon"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Being examined, he confessed to the words following: "That all false matters were bolstered and clokyd in this court of Paul's Cheyne; moreover he called the apparitor, William

    The Reign of Henry the Eighth, Volume 1 (of 3)

  • The apparitor is the ambassador of the law, and ambassadors are not subject to punishment, so that I do not know why you keep me under guard.

    Pan Tadeusz Or, the Last Foray in Lithuania; a Story of Life Among Polish Gentlefolk in the Years 1811 and 1812

  • William Langlands, an apparitor or macer (bacularius) of the See of St Andrews, presented these letters to the curate of the church of

    The Abbot

  • The unfortunate apparitor was then conducted back to the church, where, for his refreshment after his bath, the letters of excommunication were torn to pieces, and steeped in a bowl of wine; the mock abbot being probably of opinion that a tough parchment was but dry eating, Langlands was compelled to eat the letters, and swallow the wine, and dismissed by the Abbot of

    The Abbot

  • I may observe, for example, the case of an apparitor sent to Borthwick from the Primate of Saint Andrews, to cite the lord of that castle, who was opposed by an Abbot of Unreason, at whose command the officer of the spiritual court was appointed to be ducked in a mill-dam, and obliged to eat up his parchment citation.

    The Abbot

  • In former days it denoted a sergeant, an apparitor, an officer who executed magisterial orders.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • ‘Jeremy Stickles is my name, lad, nothing more than a poor apparitor of the worshipful Court of King’s Bench.

    Lorna Doone

  • The apparitor who was collecting the votes approached us.

    Balzac

  • After his defeat, when he (194) was ordered by the senate to name a dictator, making a sort of jest of the public disaster, he named Glycias, his apparitor.

    De vita Caesarum

  • ORBILIUS PUPILLUS, of Beneventum, being left an orphan, by the death of his parents, who both fell a sacrifice to the plots of their enemies on the same day, acted, at first, as apparitor to the magistrates.

    De vita Caesarum

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