[ bar-uh-tree ]
See synonyms for barratry on
  1. fraud by a master or crew at the expense of the owners of the ship or its cargo.

  2. the offense of frequently exciting and stirring up lawsuits and quarrels.

  1. the purchase or sale of ecclesiastical preferments or of offices of state.

Origin of barratry

1400–50; late Middle English barratrie<Anglo-French, Middle French baraterie combat, fighting. See barrator, -ery

Other words from barratry

  • bar·ra·trous, adjective

Words Nearby barratry Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use barratry in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for barratry



/ (ˈbærətrɪ) /

  1. criminal law (formerly) the vexatious stirring up of quarrels or bringing of lawsuits

  2. maritime law a fraudulent practice committed by the master or crew of a ship to the prejudice of the owner or charterer

  1. Scots law the crime committed by a judge in accepting a bribe

  2. the purchase or sale of public or Church offices

Origin of barratry

C15: from Old French baraterie deception, from barater to barter

Derived forms of barratry

  • barratrous or barretrous, adjective
  • barratrously or barretrously, adverb

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012