barratry vs simony what difference

what is difference between barratry and simony



Early 15th century, in sense “sale of offices”, from Old French baraterie (deceit, trickery), from barat (fraud, deceit, trickery), of unknown origin, perhaps Celtic. In marine sense of “unlawful acts causing loss to owner”, 1620s..


  • IPA(key): /ˈbæɹətɹi/


barratry (countable and uncountable, plural barratries)

  1. The act of persistently instigating lawsuits, often groundless ones.
  2. The sale or purchase of religious or political positions of power.
    Coordinate term: simony
  3. (admiralty law) Unlawful or fraudulent acts by the crew of a vessel, harming the vessel’s owner.

Related terms

See also

  • champerty




From Old French simonie, from Late Latin simonia, named from Simon Magus (Hebrew שִׁמְעוֹן(Šimʻôn, Simon)), with reference to Acts 8:18-20:

And when Simon saw that through laying on of hands, the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, saying ‘Give me also this power that on whomsoever I lay my hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost’. But Peter said unto him ‘Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. (KJV)


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈsaɪ.mə.ni/, /ˈsɪ.mə.ni/


simony (countable and uncountable, plural simonies)

  1. The buying or selling of spiritual or sacred things, such as ecclesiastical offices, pardons, or consecrated objects.
    • 1989, Anthony Burgess, ‘Hun’, The Devil’s Mode:
      ‘There are those two,’ he then said, ‘who were recently arraigned on a charge of high simony. Fancying a monstrance and stealing it and proposing to sell it. They pleaded the usual pagan ignorance.’
    • 2007, Edwin Mullins, The Popes of Avignon, Blue Bridge 2008, p. 37:
      He openly practiced simony; in other words, he sold benefices.


  • Simonism

Coordinate terms

  • barratry

Derived terms

  • simoniac
  • simonist


See also

  • benefice


  • Nimoys, isonym, myosin

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