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n. pl. bar·ra·tries
1. The act or practice of bringing a groundless lawsuit or lawsuits.
2. An unlawful breach of duty on the part of a ship's master or crew resulting in injury to the ship's owner.
3. Sale or purchase of positions in church or state.

[Middle English barratrie, the sale of church offices, from Old French baraterie, deception, malversation, from barater, to cheat; see barrator.]

bar′ra·trous (-trəs) adj.
bar′ra·trous·ly adv.


(ˈbærətrɪ) or


1. (Law) criminal law (formerly) the vexatious stirring up of quarrels or bringing of lawsuits
2. (Law) maritime law a fraudulent practice committed by the master or crew of a ship to the prejudice of the owner or charterer
3. (Law) Scots law the crime committed by a judge in accepting a bribe
4. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) the purchase or sale of public or Church offices
[C15: from Old French baraterie deception, from barater to barter]
ˈbarratrous, ˈbarretrous adj
ˈbarratrously, ˈbarretrously adv


(ˈbær ə tri)

1. fraud by a master or crew at the expense of the owners of the ship or its cargo.
2. the offense of frequently stirring up litigation.
3. the purchase or sale of ecclesiastic preferments.
[1400–50; late Middle English barratrie < Anglo-French, Middle French baraterie combat, fighting]


Law. an act of fraud by a master or crew at the expense of the owners of a ship or the owners of its cargo. Also spelled barretry. — barratrous, adj.
See also: Ships
the offense of frequently exciting or stirring up suits and quarrels between others. — barrator, n. — barratrous, adj.
See also: Law
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.barratry - traffic in ecclesiastical offices or prefermentsbarratry - traffic in ecclesiastical offices or preferments
traffic - buying and selling; especially illicit trade
2.barratry - the crime of a judge whose judgment is influenced by briberybarratry - the crime of a judge whose judgment is influenced by bribery
bribery, graft - the practice of offering something (usually money) in order to gain an illicit advantage
3.barratry - (maritime law) a fraudulent breach of duty by the master of a ship that injures the owner of the ship or its cargo; includes every breach of trust such as stealing or sinking or deserting the ship or embezzling the cargo
fraud - intentional deception resulting in injury to another person
admiralty law, marine law, maritime law - the branch of international law that deals with territorial and international waters or with shipping or with ocean fishery etc.
4.barratry - the offense of vexatiously persisting in inciting lawsuits and quarrelsbarratry - the offense of vexatiously persisting in inciting lawsuits and quarrels
crime, criminal offence, criminal offense, law-breaking, offense, offence - (criminal law) an act punishable by law; usually considered an evil act; "a long record of crimes"
law, jurisprudence - the collection of rules imposed by authority; "civilization presupposes respect for the law"; "the great problem for jurisprudence to allow freedom while enforcing order"
References in periodicals archive ?
Ron Reynolds, a Missouri City Democrat, was convicted on five counts of misdemeanor barratry - ambulance chasing, in the vernacular - and sentenced to a year in jail and ordered to pay $4,000 in fines.
The 1690 Georgian language of the Lloyd's marine insuring agreement remains the basis of marine insurance to this day: "Touching the adventures and perils which we, the Under Writers, are contented to bear and do take upon us in this voyage, they are of the seas, fire, enemies, pirates, rovers, assailing thieves, jettisons, Letters of Mart and Counter-mart, surprizals, takings at sea, arrests, restraints and detainments of all Kings, Princes and Peoples, of what Nation, Condition, or quality soever, barratry of the Master and Mariners, and all other like perils, losses and misfortunes that have or shall come to the hurt, detriment or damage of any goods or merchandise or ship, or any part thereof .
The threat of being "tarred with the same pitch" was faced by Dante the pilgrim--who in the fifth Bolgia was forced to flee the Malebranche, alluding to the false accusation of barratry he had faced in Florence.
Borne stated that--although he does not "specifically charge" that TELC engages in barratry--"academic freedom of the classroom is no defense for committing barratry in the Courtroom.
Crimen falsi, according to the better opinion, does not include all offenses which involve a charge of untruthfulness, but only such as injuriously affect the administration of public justice, such as perjury, subornation of perjury, suppression of testimony by bribery or conspiracy, to procure the absence of a witness, or to accuse one wrongfully of a crime, or barratry, or the like.
According to Rules for defining the size of damage caused by death or life during a road accident, for the purposes of compulsory driver's liability insurance, damage caused by death or injury occurring during a road accident must be compensated without taking into account the barratry of the injured person or the absence of the fault of tortfeasor.
This rationale and disdain for lawyer solicitation goes back to the 19th century, when state barratry statutes criminalized the conduct.
Any restrictions on sale would derive from state laws and rules against barratry and champetry, which are "extrinsic" to the claim itself.
nonparty class members to solicitation amounting to barratry as well as
Those sins (such as barratry, scolding, chiding, and cursing) were seen as socially disruptive and therefore dangerous; they were given a great deal of attention in the genre of pastoral literature which expanded following the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215.