From Anglo-Norman/Law French, (modern French avocat général or procureur général), hence the unusual order of adjective following noun, instead of idiomatic English *general attorney. Compare court martial, notary public, secretary general, surgeon general.
- A major government officer throughout the English-speaking world, generally responsible for interpreting the law for the head of government and executive department and functioning as chief prosecutor, with the ability to bring civil and criminal actions directly.
- Janet Reno was US Attorney General under Bill Clinton.
- 1595 December 9 (first known performance), William Shakespeare, “The life and death of King Richard the Second”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene i], page 29, column 2:
- If you do wrongfully ſeize Herford's right, / call in his Letters Patents that he hath / By his Atturneyes generall, to ſue […]