Etymology
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barratry (n.)

early 15c., "sale of ecclesiastical or state offices," from Old French baraterie "deceit, guile, trickery," from barat "malpractice, fraud, deceit, trickery," which is 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. The sense has been somewhat confused with that of Middle English baratri "combat, fighting" (c. 1400), from Old Norse baratta "fight, contest strife." This was an active word in Middle English, 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 Spanish baratear "to cheat, deceive," cognate of the French word; the bay so called in reference to the difficulty of its entry passages.

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Definitions of barratry

barratry (n.)
traffic in ecclesiastical offices or preferments;
Synonyms: simony
barratry (n.)
the crime of a judge whose judgment is influenced by bribery;
barratry (n.)
(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;
barratry (n.)
the offense of vexatiously persisting in inciting lawsuits and quarrels;
From wordnet.princeton.edu