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noun Law.
  1. (in England) a lawyer who is a member of one of the Inns of Court and who has the privilege of pleading in the higher courts.Compare solicitor(def 4).
  2. Informal. any lawyer.

Origin of barrister

1535–45; derivative of bar1, perhaps after obsolete legister lawyer or minister
Related formsbar·ris·te·ri·al [bar-uh-steer-ee-uh l] /ˌbær əˈstɪər i əl/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for barrister

advocate, counsel, counselor, lawyer, solicitor

Examples from the Web for barrister

Contemporary Examples of barrister

Historical Examples of barrister

British Dictionary definitions for barrister


  1. Also called: barrister-at-law (in England) a lawyer who has been called to the bar and is qualified to plead in the higher courtsCompare solicitor See also advocate, counsel
  2. (in Canada) a lawyer who pleads in court
  3. US a less common word for lawyer

Word Origin for barrister

C16: from bar 1
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

Word Origin and History for barrister

1540s, "a student of law who has been called to the bar," from bar (n.3) in the legal sense + -ster. Also see attorney. The second element is obscure.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper