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notary public

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noun no·ta·ry public \ˈnō-tə-rē-\

Simple Definition of notary public

  • law : a person who has the authority to act as an official witness when legal documents are signed

Full Definition of notary public

plural notaries public or notary publics

  1. :  a public officer who attests or certifies writings (as a deed) to make them authentic and takes affidavits, depositions, and protests of negotiable paper —called also notary

Origin of notary public

Middle English notary clerk, notary public, from Latin notarius clerk, secretary, from notarius of shorthand, from nota note, shorthand character


First Known Use: 15th century



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