from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun A person legally empowered to witness and authenticate documents, administer oaths, take affidavits and depositions, and engage in other activities established by local law.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun an
officerwho can administer oathsand statutory declarations, witnessand authenticatedocuments and perform certain other acts varying from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- noun someone legally empowered to witness signatures and certify a document's validity and to take depositions
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
Anglo-Norman/Law French, on model of notaire publique, hence the unusual order of adjective following noun, instead of idiomatic English *public notary. Compare attorney general, court martial, fee simple, secretary general, surgeon general.
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