[ maj-uh-streyt, -strit ]
/ ˈmædʒ əˌstreɪt, -strɪt /


a civil officer charged with the administration of the law.
a minor judicial officer, as a justice of the peace or the judge of a police court, having jurisdiction to try minor criminal cases and to conduct preliminary examinations of persons charged with serious crimes.

Origin of magistrate

1350–1400; Middle English magistrat < Latin magistrātus magistracy, magistrate, equivalent to magist(e)r master + -ātus -ate3

Related forms

mag·is·trate·ship, noun

Can be confused

magisterial magistrate majestic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for magistrate

British Dictionary definitions for magistrate


/ (ˈmædʒɪˌstreɪt, -strɪt) /


a public officer concerned with the administration of lawRelated adjective: magisterial
another name for justice of the peace
NZ the former name for district court judge

Derived Forms

magistrateship, noun

Word Origin for magistrate

C17: from Latin magistrātus, from magister master
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