- a lawyer; attorney-at-law.
- an attorney-in-fact; agent.
Origin of attorney
Examples from the Web for attorney
“They are hypocritical on this very issue,” Shearer said about Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and other public officials.Harry Shearer on The Dangerous Business of Satire
January 8, 2015
Closed courthouses, rogue clerks, and misleading statements from the attorney general as Florida welcomes same-sex marriage.The Back Alley, Low Blow-Ridden Fight to Stop Gay Marriage in Florida Is Finally Over
January 5, 2015
“I noticed something,” I say to Marvin, feeling a little like Ransom Stoddard, attorney at law.The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile
January 3, 2015
As a Washington attorney, he took on companies that seemed immune to change, even when they were ineffective.Your Local School Doesn’t Have to Suck
Michael S. Roth
December 17, 2014
Eid, who teaches Indian law at two law schools and works as an attorney himself, had no idea that it was coming.Tribes to U.S. Government: Take Your Weed and Shove It
December 13, 2014
But Gilder was unaffected by the attorney's lack of satisfaction over the result.Within the Law
Away he posted directly to an attorney's who was empowered to dispose of the land.Tales And Novels, Volume 4 (of 10)
This is the short of my will—the attorney (when found) will make it long enough.Tales And Novels, Volume 5 (of 10)
When the attorney reached the spot where the crowd was thickest, way was made for him.The Gentleman From Indiana
Mr. Macdermot; so you've had a breeze with the attorney, have you?The Macdermots of Ballycloran
- a person legally appointed or empowered to act for another
- US a lawyer qualified to represent clients in legal proceedings
- Southern African a solicitor
Word Origin and History for attorney
early 14c. (mid-13c. in Anglo-Latin), from Old French atorné "(one) appointed," past participle of aturner "to decree, assign, appoint," from atorner (see attorn). The legal Latin form attornare influenced the spelling in Anglo-French. The sense is of "one appointed to represent another's interests."
In English law, a private attorney was one appointed to act for another in business or legal affairs (usually for pay); an attorney at law or public attorney was a qualified legal agent in the courts of Common Law who prepared the cases for a barrister, who pleaded them (the equivalent of a solicitor in Chancery). So much a term of contempt in England that it was abolished by the Judicature Act of 1873 and merged with solicitor.
Johnson observed that "he did not care to speak ill of any man behind his back, but he believed the gentleman was an attorney." [Boswell]
The double -t- is a mistaken 15c. attempt to restore a non-existent Latin original. Attorney general first recorded 1530s in sense of "legal officer of the state" (late 13c. in Anglo-French), from French, hence the odd plural (subject first, adjective second).