Definition of barratry in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈberətrē/


1 archaic Fraud or gross negligence of a ship’s master or crew at the expense of its owners or users.
Example sentences
  • Thereafter, owners changed their case to assert, and assert only, that Komiseris had sunk the vessel deliberately without their privity and that the loss had thus occurred by barratry.
  • The word that should pop into your head right now isn't mutiny, it's barratry.
  • Barratry can be identified in two forms within an admiralty context and seamen should be aware.
2 Law Vexatious litigation or incitement to it.
Example sentences
  • They accuse Mr. Davis of the torts of barratry and malicious prosecution.
  • That is why I referred to barratry and the old common law rules about maintenance and champerty.
  • The rules have been around since the mediaeval laws about champerty and barratry.
3 historical Trade in the sale of church or state appointments.
Example sentences
  • Simony is the religious equivalent to barratry, the very crime Dante was accused of.
  • Boiled in the pitch are shades guilty of barratry--the selling of offices.



Pronunciation: /ˈberədər/
( historical)sense 2.
Example sentences
  • The crafty escape of the Navarrese barrator from the demons is another exceptionally comic element.
  • Rossetti believes the episode of the barrators in the Inferno to be a parody of this disaster.
  • Buranelli, In both Poe's The Cask of Amontillado and his The Black Cat, the barrators act without conscience.


Pronunciation: /-trəs/
Example sentences
  • What I saw was an evil, greedy cult attempting to strong-arm (with barratrous lawyers) people into silence.
  • Moreover, just as we expect SCO's barratrous and libelous behavior to be brought to justice, so should we expect that any criminal perpetrating felonies against SCO should also be treated as such.
  • The plaintiff and their paid agents deleted and copied from my computers the evidence I need to adequately defend myself against the barratrous assault on my freedom of speech and religion which they themselves have launched.


Late Middle English (sense 3): from Old French baraterie, from barater 'deceive', based on Greek prattein 'do, perform, manage' (sometimes dishonestly); perhaps influenced by Old Norse barátta 'contest'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: bar·ra·try

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