- an officer, similar to a sheriff or a sheriff's deputy, employed to execute writs and processes, make arrests, keep order in the court, etc.
- (in Britain) a person charged with local administrative authority, or the chief magistrate in certain towns.
- (especially in Britain) an overseer of a landed estate or farm.
Origin of bailiff
Examples from the Web for bailiff
Before long, the judge asked the bailiff to remove him, Cooley said.Sovereign Citizens Are a Sometimes Violent Fringe Group Rejecting All Government
December 30, 2012
I saw a bailiff out of the corner of my eye begin to move toward us.Joe Jackson’s Life as a Family Pariah
December 3, 2012
"There is little merit in this confession," quoth the bailiff sternly.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
The three distinguished characters were a spendthrift, a bailiff, and a dun.Tales And Novels, Volume 4 (of 10)
Faix, he will, Mr. McKeon; so don't let him do it; I heard him telling the bailiff.The Macdermots of Ballycloran
"May ye hang him up for it, Bailiff Scroope," replied the Scot.
He was the bailiff Scroope, whom you put up to witness against me.
- British the agent or steward of a landlord or landowner
- a sheriff's officer who serves writs and summonses, makes arrests, and ensures that the sentences of the court are carried out
- mainly British (formerly) a high official having judicial powers
- mainly US an official having custody of prisoners appearing in court
Word Origin and History for bailiff
mid-13c., from Old French baillif (12c., nominative baillis) "administrative official, deputy," from Vulgar Latin *bajulivus "official in charge of a castle," from Latin bajulus "porter," of unknown origin. Used in Middle English of a public administrator of a district, a chief officer of a Hundred, or an officer under a sheriff.