bailiff

[ bey-lif ]
/ ˈbeɪ lɪf /

noun

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.

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Origin of bailiff

1250–1300; Middle English baillif<Old French, equivalent to bail custody (see bail1) + -if-ive

OTHER WORDS FROM bailiff

bail·iff·ship, nounsub·bail·iff, nounun·der·bail·iff, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for bailiff

British Dictionary definitions for bailiff

bailiff
/ (ˈbeɪlɪf) /

noun

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 for bailiff

C13: from Old French baillif, from bail custody; see bail 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012