One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A person empowered to act on behalf of others; specifically each of the delegates chosen to represent the private soldiers of some units of the Parliamentary army during the English Civil War, initially at the Army Council of June 1647. Later also (occasionally) more generally: a helper, an assistant.
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in Petition Private Souldierie 29 May. From classical Latin adiūtāt-, past participial stem of adiūtāre to help, assist + -or, probably originally as alteration of agitator. Compare post-classical Latin adiutator.
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