I. noun — [ mass noun] 1.
‹archaic› fraud or gross negligence of a ship’s master or crew at the expense of its owners or users.
[Law] vexatious litigation or incitement to it (abolished as an offence in Britain in 1967).
‹historical› trade in the sale of Church or state appointments.
II. derivatives 1. barrator /ˈbarətə / noun
2. barratrous adjective
– origin late Middle English (in sense 3): from Old French baraterie, from barater ‘deceive’, based on Greek prattein ‘do, perform, manage’ (sometimes dishonestly); perhaps influenced by Old Norse barátta ‘contest’.