Early 15th century, in sense “sale of offices”, from Old French baraterie (“deceit, trickery”), from barat (“fraud, deceit, trickery”), of Unknown origin, perhaps Celtic. In marine sense of “unlawful acts causing loss to owner”, 1620s.
- IPA: /ˈbæɻətɻi/
barratry (plural barratries)
- the act of persistently instigating lawsuits, often groundless ones
- the sale and/or purchase of political positions of power
- (admiralty law) unlawful or fraudulent acts by the crew of a vessel, harming the vessel's owner.
Related terms 
Coordinate terms 
- (sale or purchase of positions of power): simony
See also 
- “barratry” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).