One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
By apparent, claimed, or pretended authority of the particular office or position held.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in John Manwood (d. 1610), legal writer. From post-classical Latin colore officii from classical Latin colōre, ablative of color + officiī, genitive of officium, after Anglo-Norman and Law French par colur de son office under pretext of one's office.
colore officii/kəˌlɔːri əˈfɪʃiː/
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