barratry

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

Early 15th century, in sense “sale of offices”, from Old French baraterie (deceit, trickery), from barat (fraud, deceit, trickery), of Unknown origin, perhaps Celtic.[1] In marine sense of “unlawful acts causing loss to owner”, 1620s.[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

barratry (plural barratries)

  1. the act of persistently instigating lawsuits, often groundless ones
  2. the sale and/or purchase of political positions of power
  3. (admiralty law) unlawful or fraudulent acts by the crew of a vessel, harming the vessel's owner.

Related terms[edit]

Coordinate terms[edit]

  • (sale or purchase of positions of power): simony

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 barratry” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).