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From bar (a collective term for lawyers or the legal profession) and the suffix -ster.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈbæɹ.ɪst.ə(ɹ)/
  • (file)


barrister (plural barristers)

  1. (chiefly UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand) A lawyer with the right to speak and argue as an advocate in higher lawcourts.
    • 2022 September 7, Philip Haigh, “Comment: More strikes and poor morale”, in RAIL, number 965, page 3:
      Postmen, binmen, dock workers, even barristers are now on strike. Where will all this end?

Usage notes[edit]

Some legal systems apply a separation of the roles of barrister and solicitor, such that a barrister (only) may address the court on a client's behalf and a solicitor (only) may act as an attorney for clients (note that this does not preclude a lawyer from being qualified as both). In particular, this separation occurs in the UK and in countries that use the UK system. It does not apply in the US or Canada. Some systems apply a separation of roles that does not match the barrister/solicitor split.

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