(in England) a lawyer who is a member of one of the Inns of Court and who has the privilege of pleading in the higher courts.
Compare solicitor (def 4).
Informal. any lawyer.
Contemporary Examples

The founder, Motilal Nehru, an Anglophile barrister, was a liberal member of the Indian nationalist movement.
The Unstoppable Gandhi Aravind Adiga April 22, 2009

Alamuddin was invited to become a barrister, an elite group of British lawyers, in 2010.
Meet Amal Alamuddin George Clooney’s Beautiful and Formidable Fiancée Lizzie Crocker April 27, 2014

The dean told him face to face that Africans lacked the innate skills necessary to become a barrister.
Mandela: The Miracle Maker Sam Seibert December 4, 2013

It tells the story a British barrister, a criminal lawyer, in mid-life crisis.
Scott Turow: How I Write Noah Charney October 22, 2013

Historical Examples

On her account a barrister on the Temple Stairs was near to letting fall his bag in the water.
Richard Carvel, Complete Winston Churchill

He’s a schoolmaster and a barrister and a poet and heaven knows what not.
Changing Winds St. John G. Ervine

You see Christabel Pankhurst has been turned down as a barrister.
Mrs. Warren’s Daughter Sir Harry Johnston

The last sentence in the barrister’s letter begins with “I despair.”
Lotus Buds Amy Carmichael

When the debt appeared to be prim facie proved, the barrister turned to the defendant, and perhaps asked him if he disputed it?
Recollections of a Policeman William Russell (aka Thomas Waters)

And whilst I toyed with her charming daughter, she sent for a barrister.
The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

Also called barrister-at-law. (in England) a lawyer who has been called to the bar and is qualified to plead in the higher courts Compare solicitor See also advocate, counsel
(in Canada) a lawyer who pleads in court
(US) a less common word for lawyer

1540s, “a student of law who has been called to the bar,” from bar (n.3) in the legal sense + -ster. Also see attorney. The second element is obscure.


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