[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. magisterium,
  2. magistery,
  3. magistracy,
  4. magistral,
  5. magistral line,
  6. magistrate's court,
  7. magistrates' court,
  8. maglemosean,
  9. maglemosian,
  10. maglev

Origin of magistrate

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

Related formsmag·is·trate·ship, noun

Can be confusedmagisterial 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 Formsmagistrateship, 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

Word Origin and History for magistrate



late 14c., "civil officer in charge of administering laws," from Old French magistrat, from Latin magistratus "a magistrate, public functionary," originally "magisterial rank or office," from magistrare "serve as a magistrate," from magister "chief, director" (see master). Related: Magistracy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper