1Roman Catholic Church
historical An officer of the papal court charged with the duty of registering and dating all documents issued by the Pope, and of representing the Pope in matters relating to grants, dispensations, etc. Compare datary .
2A person who registers and dates a document. More generally: a chronologer; an expert in dates.
Early 16th century. From post-classical Latin datarius officer at the Papal Court from data + classical Latin -ārius. Compare French dataire, Italian datario.
nounhistorical Roman Catholic Church
More fully "datary office", "datary court". A branch of the Apostolic Chancery charged with the dating of papal bulls and other documents.
In existence by the 14th century, the datary office had become increasingly redundant by the 19th as the temporal power of the papacy waned. Many of its functions were transferred to other institutions by Pius X in 1908, and it was finally abolished by Paul VI in 1967.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Thomas Fitzherbert (1552–1640), Jesuit. From post-classical Latin dataria from data + classical Latin -āria.