noun bar·ra·try \ˈber-ə-trē, ˈba-rə-\
plural bar·ra·tries

Definition of BARRATRY

:  the purchase or sale of office or preferment in church or state
:  an unlawful act or fraudulent breach of duty by a master of a ship or by the mariners to the injury of the owner of the ship or cargo
:  the persistent incitement of litigation

Origin of BARRATRY

Middle English (Scots) barratrie, from Anglo-French *baraterie, literally, deception, from Old French barater to be active, do business, cause strife, deceive, perhaps from Vulgar Latin *prattare, from Greek prattein, prassein to do — more at practical
First Known Use: 15th century


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