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

The barrister showed us some serious glam in a floor-length J. Mendel navy and white chiffon gown with matching navy heels, a navy and gold clutch, and bling-y sapphire and diamond earrings. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Amal Clooney Accepts UN Global Citizens Award," 6 Dec. 2018 His father, a respected barrister, met Mr. Worsley’s mother ballroom dancing. Max Colchester And Margot Patrick, WSJ, "Hiding Russian Money Was Easy. Quitting Was Harder.," 4 Aug. 2018 Judges and barristers sweat beneath their curly horsehair wigs and black robes. The Economist, "As temperatures rise, English lawyers’ costumes look odder than ever," 5 July 2018 Less picky barristers store their wigs in biscuit tins. The Economist, "As temperatures rise, English lawyers’ costumes look odder than ever," 5 July 2018 The international human rights barrister made a splash with her sunny getup and Stephen Jones disc hat. Ashley Hoffman, Time, "Everyone Made the Same Joke About George and Amal Clooney at the Royal Wedding," 20 May 2018 One of the country's most senior Catholic figures, Pell arrived at Melbourne Magistrate's Court early Tuesday, accompanied by his lead barrister, Robert Richter QC, as dozens of police sought to keep media and protesters at bay. Ben Westcott, CNN, "Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell arrives at court to hear if he'll go to trial," 30 Apr. 2018 But Angela Rafferty, head of the Criminal Bar Association, argues that barristers doing work-intensive cases will lose out. The Economist, "British professionals revolt as austerity hits the middle class," 26 Apr. 2018 Before entering Parliament in 2010, 46-year-old Lewis was a barrister and director of a company providing fee-paying primary schools in Essex, east of London., "May's Cabinet Reshuffle Goes Horribly Wrong," 8 Jan. 2018

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.

See More

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)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about barrister

Statistics for barrister

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for barrister

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for barrister



English Language Learners Definition of barrister

: a lawyer in Britain who has the right to argue in higher courts of law


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

Comments on barrister

What made you want to look up barrister? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move or proceed with twists and turns

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!