A commissary is someone delegated by a superior to execute a duty or an office; in a formal, legal context, one who has received power from a legitimate superior authority to pass judgment in a certain cause or to take information concerning it.
The word is recorded in English since 1362, for "one to whom special duty is entrusted by a higher power". This Anglo-French word derives from Medieval Latin commissarius, from Latin commissus (pp. of committere) "entrusted,".
Sources and references
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.