barratry early 15c., "sale of ecclesiastical or state offices," from O.Fr. baraterie "deceit, guile, trickery," from barat "malpractice, fraud, deceit, trickery," of unknown origin, perhaps from Celtic. In marine law, "wrongful conduct by a ship's crew or officer, resulting in loss to owners," from 1620s. Meaning "offense of habitually starting legal suits" is from 1640s. Sense somewhat confused with that of M.E. baratri "combat, fighting" (c.1400), from O.N. baratta "fight, contest strife." This was an active word in M.E., with forms such as baraten "to disturb the peace" (mid-15c.); baratour "inciter to riot, bully" (late 14c., mid-13c. as a surname). Barataria Bay, Louisiana, U.S., is from Sp. baratear "to cheat, deceive," cognate of the French word; the bay so called in reference to the difficulty of its entry passages.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • barratry — bar·ra·try / bar ə trē/ n pl tries [Middle French baraterie deception, from barater to deceive, cheat] 1: an unlawful act or fraudulent breach of duty by a ship s master or crew that injures the interests of the ship s or cargo s owners often… …   Law dictionary

  • Barratry — is the name of two legal concepts, one in criminal and civil law, and one in admiralty law.Criminal and civil lawBarratry, in criminal and civil law, is the act or practice of bringing repeated legal actions solely to harass. Usually, the actions …   Wikipedia

  • Barratry — Bar ra*try, n. [Cf. F. baraterie, LL. barataria. See {Barrator}, and cf. {Bartery}.] 1. (Law) The practice of exciting and encouraging lawsuits and quarrels. [Also spelt {barretry}.] Coke. Blackstone. [1913 Webster] 2. (Mar. Law) A fraudulent… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • barratry — [bar′ətrē, ber′ətrē] n. [Fr baraterie, orig., misuse of office < barater: see BARRATOR] 1. Obs. the buying or selling of ecclesiastical or civil positions 2. the criminal offense of habitually bringing about quarrels or lawsuits 3. Maritime… …   English World dictionary

  • Barratry — 1. The act of a vessel’s captain or crew knowingly endangering the vessel’s crew, cargo and/or the vessel itself. Acts that are considered barratry include intentionally sinking the ship, transporting illegal immigrants, stealing… …   Investment dictionary

  • barratry — Any act committed wilfully by the master or crew of a ship to the detriment of its owner or charterer. Examples include scuttling the ship and embezzling the cargo. Illegal activities (e. g. carrying prohibited persons) leading to the forfeiture… …   Big dictionary of business and management

  • barratry —   n. unlawful action by captain or seamen injuring owner or freighter of ship; inciting to litigation or riot; simony.    ♦ barrator, n. person habitually entering into quarrels and law suits.    ♦ barratous,    ♦ barratrous, a. quarrelsome;… …   Dictionary of difficult words

  • barratry — /baeratriy/ barratry or barretry The offense of frequently exciting and stirring up quarrels and suits, either at law or otherwise. State v. Batson, 220 N.C. 411, 17 S.E.2d 511, 512, 513. In maritime law, an act committed by master or mariners of …   Black's law dictionary

  • barratry — noun (plural tries) Etymology: Middle English (Scots) barratrie, from Anglo French *baraterie, literally, deception, from Old French barater to be active, do business, cause strife, deceive, perhaps from Vulgar Latin *prattare, from Greek… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • barratry — barratrous, adj. /bar euh tree/, n. Law. 1. fraud by a master or crew at the expense of the owners of the ship or its cargo. 2. the offense of frequently exciting and stirring up lawsuits and quarrels. 3. the purchase or sale of ecclesiastical… …   Universalium

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