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Origin of prosecutor

1590–1600; < Medieval Latin, Late Latin prōsecūtor pursuer. See prosecute, -tor Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for prosecutor


  1. a person who institutes or conducts legal proceedings, esp in a criminal court
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 prosecutor

1590s, from Medieval Latin prosecutor, agent noun from prosequi (see prosecute). Specific legal sense of "one who brings a case in a court of law" is from 1620s; earlier such a person was a promoter (late 15c.). Related: Prosecutorial.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper