Definition: Lawyer

From New World Encyclopedia


From Middle English lawier, lawyer, lawer, equivalent to law + -yer.


lawyer (plural lawyers)

  1. A professional person with a graduate law degree that qualifies for legal work (such as Juris Doctor)
  2. A professional person qualified (as by a law degree or bar exam) and authorized to practice law as an attorney-at-law, solicitor, advocate, barrister or equivalent, i.e. represent parties in lawsuits or trials and give legal advice.
    The remix artists needed to hire a defense lawyer when they got sued.
  3. A legal layman who argues points of law.
  4. Any of various plants that have hooked thorns.
    1. A relative of the raspberry found in Australia and New Zealand, Rubus australis[quotations.
    2. Various species of Calamus, including Calamus australis, Calamus muelleri, Calamus obstruens, Calamus vitiensis, Calamus warburgii, and Calamus moti.
    3. A woody climbing rainforest vine, Flagellaria indica.

Derived terms

  • common lawyer
  • corporate lawyer
  • criminal lawyer
  • defense lawyer
  • labour lawyer
  • lawyer vine


lawyer (third-person singular simple present lawyers, present participle lawyering, simple past and past participle lawyered)

  1. (intransitive) To perform, or attempt to perform, the work of a lawyer.
  2. (intransitive) To make legalistic arguments.


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