from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The offense of persistently instigating lawsuits, typically groundless ones.
- n. An unlawful breach of duty on the part of a ship's master or crew resulting in injury to the ship's owner.
- n. Sale or purchase of positions in church or state.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. the act of persistently instigating lawsuits, often groundless ones
- n. the sale and/or purchase of political positions of power
- n. unlawful or fraudulent acts by the crew of a vessel, harming the vessel's owner.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The practice of exciting and encouraging lawsuits and quarrels.
- n. A fraudulent breach of duty or willful act of known illegality on the part of a master of a ship, in his character of master, or of the mariners, to the injury of the owner of the ship or cargo, and without his consent. It includes every breach of trust committed with dishonest purpose, as by running away with the ship, sinking or deserting her, etc., or by embezzling the cargo.
- n. The crime of a judge who is influenced by bribery in pronouncing judgment.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The purchase or sale of ecclesiastical preferments or of offices of state. See barrator, 1, 3.
- n. In old Scots law, the taking of bribes by a judge.
- n. The fraud or offense committed by a barrator. See barrator, 4.
- n. A vexatious and persistent inciting of others to lawsuits and litigation; a stirring up and maintaining of controversies and litigation. This is a criminal offense at common law.
- n. Also barretry, especially in the last sense.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. traffic in ecclesiastical offices or preferments
- n. (maritime law) a fraudulent breach of duty by the master of a ship that injures the owner of the ship or its cargo; includes every breach of trust such as stealing or sinking or deserting the ship or embezzling the cargo
- n. the crime of a judge whose judgment is influenced by bribery
- n. the offense of vexatiously persisting in inciting lawsuits and quarrels
Middle English barratrie, the sale of church offices, from Old French baraterie, deception, malversation, from barater, to cheat; see barrator.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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. (Wiktionary)