American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A civil officer with power to administer and enforce law, as:
- n. A local member of the judiciary having limited jurisdiction, especially in criminal cases.
- n. A minor official, such as a justice of the peace, having administrative and limited judicial authority.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Magistracy.
- n. An administrator of the law; one who possesses jurisdiction or executive authority in matters of civil government; an executive or judicial officer holding the power of decision and disposal in regard to subjects within his cognizance: as, a king is the first magistrate of a monarchy; in the United States the President is often called the chief magistrate; the magistrates of a state or city; civil or judicial magistrates. But the word is more particularly applied to subordinate officers to whom some part of executive judicial power is committed or delegated.
- n. Specifically, a minor judicial officer; a justice of the peace, or a police justice; in Scotland, a provost or a bailie of a burgh: as, to be brought before the bar of the local magistrate.
- n. In the New Testament, a Roman military governor or pretor.
- n. 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.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A person clothed with power as a public civil officer; a public civil officer invested with the executive government, or some branch of it.
- n. a lay judge or civil authority who administers the law (especially one who conducts a court dealing with minor offenses)
- Middle English magistrat, from Old French, from Latin magistrātus, from magister, magistr-, master; see meg- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“To say the _magistrate_ has this right, is using an inadequate word: it is the _society_ for which the magistrate is agent.”
“Some critics denounced the idea of calling magistrates regional or district court judges, but in most Commonwealth countries the term magistrate referred to a lay judicial official.”
“In this work the magistrate is the minister of God, v. 4.”
“The administration of public justice by the magistrate is an ordinance of God; in it the scales are held, and ought to be held by a steady and impartial hand; and we ought to submit to it, for the Lord's sake, and to see his authority in that of the magistrate, Rom. xiii.”
“Generally, in Commonwealth countries, of which we are a member state, the term magistrate is used to refer only to lay judicial officers.”
“Martinned: Yes, the indicting magistrate is on the left, but according to the Economist the complainants are members of far right organizations with a vested interest in avoiding digging into the past (figuratively and literally).”
“Yes, the indicting magistrate is on the left, but according to the Economist the complainants are members of far right organizations with a vested interest in avoiding digging into the past (figuratively and literally).”
“If a magistrate believes that the Constitution requires a limit on the warrant, then the magistrate is bound by oath to impose it.”
“Oldest by far was Judge Dee, the Chinese magistrate from the 600s, who appeared in print for the first time in 1952.”
“Ironically, the district attorney could have kept charges in magistrate court pending while they went to grand jury.”
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