bar·​ris·​ter | \ ˈber-ə-stər How to pronounce barrister (audio) , ˈba-rə- \

Definition of barrister

: a counsel admitted to plead at the bar and undertake the public trial of causes in an English superior court — compare solicitor

Examples of barrister in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Their first episode, out today, features a conversation with Caroline Haughey, a barrister who helped draft the Modern Slavery Act and who led the prosecution for Operation Fort. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 27 Apr. 2022 Sir Geoffrey Nice is a barrister who led the prosecution against Milosevic. Dahlia Scheindlin, The New Republic, 18 Apr. 2022 Dockery plays the barrister who is prosecuting the case. oregonlive, 17 Apr. 2022 Standing next to Johnson is Baroness Patricia Scotland, a British diplomat, barrister and politician, who is currently serving as the sixth secretary-general of the Commonwealth of Nations. Emily Burack, Town & Country, 14 Mar. 2022 The courtroom costumes of perukes and barrister robes also remained. Timothy Mclaughlin, The Atlantic, 7 Apr. 2022 Dockery plays the barrister who is prosecuting the case. oregonlive, 8 Mar. 2022 An independent, unofficial body set up by a prominent British barrister to assess evidence on China’s alleged rights abuses against the Uyghur people concluded in December that the Chinese government committed genocide. Kyle Morris, Fox News, 4 Feb. 2022 Farriss’s barrister Adrian Williams told the court, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Lars Brandle, Billboard, 28 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'barrister.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of barrister

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for barrister

Middle English barrester, from barre bar + -ster (as in legister lawyer)

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The first known use of barrister was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Barrister.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for barrister


bar·​ris·​ter | \ ˈbar-ə-stər How to pronounce barrister (audio) \

Legal Definition of barrister

1 : a lawyer who argues cases before a British court especially : one who is allowed to argue before a British high court — compare solicitor

Note: Many countries in the Commonwealth (as England and Australia) and the Republic of Ireland divide the legal profession into barristers and solicitors. In Canada, every lawyer is both a barrister and a solicitor, although individual lawyers may describe themselves as one or the other. Scotland uses the term advocate to refer to lawyers allowed to argue cases in its courts.

2 : lawyer

History and Etymology for barrister

Middle English barrester, from barre bar + -ster (as in legister lawyer)

More from Merriam-Webster on barrister

Britannica English: Translation of barrister for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about barrister


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