mag·​is·​trate | \ ˈma-jə-ˌstrāt How to pronounce magistrate (audio) , -strət \

Definition of magistrate

: an official entrusted with administration of the laws: such as
a : a principal official exercising governmental powers over a major political unit (such as a nation)
b : a local official exercising administrative and often judicial functions
c : a local judiciary official having limited original jurisdiction (see jurisdiction sense 1) especially in criminal cases

Other Words from magistrate

magistratical \ ˌma-​jə-​ˈstra-​ti-​kəl How to pronounce magistrate (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for magistrate


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Examples of magistrate in a Sentence

chose to take their case before the local magistrate
Recent Examples on the Web According to a release from the US Attorney's Office, 18 of the 19 defendants have either been arrested or summoned for appearance before a federal magistrate judge. Rebekah Riess And Melissa Alonso, CNN, 20 May 2022 He’s been held without bond after a magistrate judge deemed him a danger to the community. Jason Meisner, Chicago Tribune, 17 May 2022 Cases before it are decided by a judge or magistrate; there are no jury trials in the Court of Claims. From Staff Reports, The Enquirer, 6 Oct. 2021 Prior to joining City Council, Cleveland worked 12 years in the county judicial system as an assistant county prosecutor in the Tax Foreclosure Department and a magistrate of Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. Robert Higgs, cleveland, 30 June 2021 Read full article Clerk-magistrate hearings, where the clerk determines if criminal charges should proceed, are normally held behind closed doors. Globe Staff,, 24 May 2022 Early in her life, Blair learned from her magistrate mother how personal style could hold the power to shield her from the judgment of would-be critics. Wendy Kaur, ELLE, 18 May 2022 Parents may also request a special magistrate to determine facts relating to the dispute and to recommend a solution to the State Board of Education. Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, 23 Mar. 2022 If the issue is not resolved, parents can then sue the school district or request the state Commissioner of Education appoint a special magistrate to mediate a solution, which the school district must pay for. Fox News, 10 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of magistrate

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for magistrate

Middle English magestrat, from Latin magistratus magistracy, magistrate, from magistr-, magister master, political superior — more at master

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Time Traveler for magistrate

Time Traveler

The first known use of magistrate was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near magistrate



magistrate's court

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Statistics for magistrate

Last Updated

22 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Magistrate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for magistrate


mag·​is·​trate | \ ˈma-jə-ˌstrāt How to pronounce magistrate (audio) \

Kids Definition of magistrate

1 : a chief officer of government
2 : a local official with some judicial power


mag·​is·​trate | \ ˈma-jə-ˌstrāt, -strət How to pronounce magistrate (audio) \

Legal Definition of magistrate

1 : a civil or judicial official vested with limited judicial powers a traffic magistrate
2a : a municipal, state, or federal judicial officer commonly authorized to issue warrants, hear minor cases, and conduct preliminary or pretrial hearings

called also magistrate judge

b : an official (as a judge) authorized to perform the role or function of a magistrate magistrate means an officer having power to issue a warrant for the arrest of a person charged with a public offenseArizona Revised Statutes

History and Etymology for magistrate

Latin magistratus magistracy, magistrate, from magistr- magister master, political superior

More from Merriam-Webster on magistrate

Nglish: Translation of magistrate for Spanish Speakers

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


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