[ bey-luh-wik ]
/ ˈbeɪ ləˌwɪk /


the district within which a bailie or bailiff has jurisdiction.
a person's area of skill, knowledge, authority, or work: to confine suggestions to one's own bailiwick.

Origin of bailiwick

1425–75; late Middle English, equivalent to baili- bailie + wick wick3
Related formssub·bail·i·wick, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bailiwick

British Dictionary definitions for bailiwick


/ (ˈbeɪlɪwɪk) /


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

Word Origin for bailiwick

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper