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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English attourne, from Old French atorné, masculine singular past participle of atorner, atourner, aturner ("to attorn", in the sense of "one appointed or constituted").[1]


  • (file)
  • IPA(key): /əˈtɜː(ɹ)ni/
  • Rhymes: -ɜː(ɹ)ni


attorney (plural attorneys or (obsolete) attornies)

  1. (US) A lawyer; one who advises or represents others in legal matters as a profession.
  2. (UK, dated, 19th century and earlier) One such who practised in the courts of the common law.
    Coordinate terms: proctor, solicitor
  3. (UK, 20th century and later, rare, usually derogatory) A solicitor.
  4. (obsolete outside set phrases) An agent or representative authorized to act on someone else's behalf.
  5. (Philippines, sometimes US) An honorific given to lawyers and notaries public, or those holders by profession who also do other jobs. Usually capitalized or abbreviated as Atty.
  6. Clusia spp.
  7. A prosecutor

Usage notes[edit]


  • 1809, “Counsel”, in The Monthly Mirror: Reflecting Men and Manners. With Strictures on Their Epitome, the Stage., volume VI, London: [] for the Proprietors, by Harding and Wright, []; [] Vernor, Hood, and Sharpe, []; J[ohn] Murray, []; A[rchibald] Constable and Co., Edinburgh;  [], page 212:
    It is not here meant that there ever was any positive rule or law, which prevented this freedom between barrister and attorney; but by the étiquette of the profession, the former preserved a dignity, that kept the latter at a distance—this is the barrier at present removed through the eagerness of barristers to procure business by flattering and courting attornies, who have the distribution of it.


Derived terms[edit]


  • Punjabi: ਅਟਾਰਨੀ (aṭārnī)
  • Welsh: atwrnai



attorney (third-person singular simple present attorneys, present participle attorneying, simple past and past participle attorneyed)

  1. (intransitive, rare) To work as a legal attorney.
  2. (transitive, rare) To provide with a legal attorney.


  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary (1971), p. 553.




attorney m (plural attorneys)

  1. attorney

Further reading[edit]