Definition of magistrate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmajəˌstrāt/


A civil officer or lay judge who administers the law, especially one who conducts a court that deals with minor offenses and holds preliminary hearings for more serious ones.
Example sentences
  • It is clear that the magistrates heard a great deal of factual evidence and had regard to that.
  • In sentencing the magistrates said the offences were so serious that custody was the only option.
  • Local residents should serve on juries in the upper courts and as lay magistrates in the lower courts.



Pronunciation: /ˈmajəˌstrāCHər/
Pronunciation: /ˈmajəstrəˌCHər/
Example sentences
  • Born in a family of magistrates, he was educated at a Jesuit school, studied the law, and practised in the Rouen magistrature until 1630.
  • This organisation of competition for places on the Supreme Court of Justice is done in order to safeguard equality of expectations among candidates from each of the magistratures.
  • The old system of public administration and magistratures came under attack and was abolished by 1786.


Late Middle English: from Latin magistratus 'administrator', from magister 'master'.

  • Magistrate is from Latin magistratus ‘administrator’, from magister ‘master’. This also gives us master (Old English), its weakened form mister (mid 16th century), and miss.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mag·is·trate

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