magistrate n[Latin magistratus magistracy, magistrate, from magistr- magister master, political superior]
1 : a civil or judicial official vested with limited judicial powers [a family support ] [a traffic ]
2 a : a municipal, state, or federal judicial officer commonly authorized to issue warrants, hear minor cases, and conduct preliminary or pretrial hearings called also magistrate judge
b : an official (as a judge) authorized to perform the role or function of a magistrate [ means an officer having power to issue a warrant for the arrest of a person charged with a public offense "Arizona Revised Statutes "]
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.