Middle English barrester, from barre bar + -ster (as in legister lawyer)
First Known Use: 15th century
One of two types of practicing lawyers in Britain (the other is the solicitor). Barristers engage in advocacy (trial work), and only they may argue cases before a high court. A barrister must be a member of one of the four Inns of Court. In Canada, all lawyers are both barristers and solicitors, though individual lawyers may describe themselves as one or the other. In Scotland trial lawyers are called advocates.