A magistrate considering a case.
The definition of a magistrate is a civil or lay judge or other official who is responsible for administering and enforcing the laws, usually by holding hearings on minor offenses.
A judge that hears traffic ticket cases and fines people is an example of a magistrate.
- a civil officer empowered to administer the law: the President of the U.S. is sometimes called chief magistrate
- a minor official with limited judicial powers, as a justice of the peace or judge of a police court
Origin of magistrateMiddle English from Classical Latin magistratus from magister, master
- A judge or justice of a local or inferior court; a justice of the peace.
- A judge in a court having jurisdiction over the trial of misdemeanors and preliminary hearings involving felonies.
- A public official with the chief administrative power in a district or region.
Origin of magistrateMiddle English magistrat from Old French from Latin magistrātus from magister magistr- master ; see meg- in Indo-European roots.
magistrate - Legal Definition
A judicial officer of limited jurisdiction or responsibility; colloquially used as a synonym for judge.