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See more synonyms for bailiwick on Thesaurus.com
  1. the district within which a bailie or bailiff has jurisdiction.
  2. a person's area of skill, knowledge, authority, or work: to confine suggestions to one's own bailiwick.
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Origin of bailiwick

1425–75; late Middle English, equivalent to baili- bailie + wick wick3
Related formssub·bail·i·wick, noun


See more synonyms for bailiwick on Thesaurus.com
2. domain, department, sphere, territory, turf.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bailiwick

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • But would she not find me, instead, and drive me out of her bailiwick?

    Wood Folk at School

    William J. Long

  • Gimpy Gordon scuttled out of my bailiwick almost on a dead run.

    The Big Fix

    George Oliver Smith

  • You must keep out of her bailiwick if you want to keep her friendship.

    The Little Colonel: Maid of Honor

    Annie Fellows Johnston

  • Meere succeeded at the assizes in sustaining his right to the bailiwick.

    Sir Walter Ralegh

    William Stebbing

  • Out of my bailiwick, cried the doctor—way out of my bailiwick.

British Dictionary definitions for bailiwick


  1. law the area over which a bailiff has jurisdiction
  2. a person's special field of interest, authority, or skill
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Word Origin

C15: from baili(e) + wick ²
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

Word Origin and History for bailiwick


"district of a bailiff," early 15c., baillifwik, from bailiff (q.v.) + Middle English form of Old English wic "village" (see wick (n.2)). Figurative sense of "one's natural or proper sphere" is first recorded 1843.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper