Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Attorney-General


Quick Summary of Attorney-General

Head of the United States Department of Justice and chief law officer of the Federal government. The Attorney General represents the United States in legal matters, oversees federal prosecutors, and provides legal advice to the President and to heads of executive governmental departments. Each state also has an attorney general, responsible for advising the governor and state agencies and departments about legal issues, and overseeing state prosecuting attorneys.

What is the dictionary definition of Attorney-General?

Dictionary Definition

n. in each state and the federal government the highest-ranking legal officer of the government. The federal Attorney General is chief of the Department of Justice appointed by the President with confirmation required by the Senate, and a member of the Cabinet. He or she is in charge of federal prosecutions (including overseeing the numerous regional U.S. Attorneys), and numerous cases and matters in which the federal government has a legal interest, particularly when the federal government is a party or federal regulations are at issue. The Attorney General also has oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement operations of the Justice Department. Although elected, state Attorneys General have similar functions within their states, although the supervision of local prosecutions is seldom exercised unless there is some gross mismanagement. Different legislatures have assigned varying functions to the state departments of justice, including consumer protection, environmental law, supervision of trusts and non-profit corporations, and other issues in which the state government may have a particular interest in protecting the citizenry.

Full Definition of Attorney-General

The Minister responsible for advising the Government on matters of law, bringing significant criminal prosecutions on behalf of the Crown, and authorizing proceedings in certain designated offences (e.g. bribery and public disorder offences). The Attorney-General must be a barrister and is the formal head of the Bar. The Solicitor-General is the Attorney-General’s deputy and has similar responsibilities. Collectively these two posts are known as the ‘Law Officers of the Crown’. Both are political appointments, and holders of these post are prohibited from practising law independently.

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Attorney-General. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd.
January 17, 2022
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Attorney-General. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: January 17, 2022).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Attorney-General. Retrieved January 17, 2022
, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Attorney-General are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 26th April, 2020 | 0 Views.