[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. bailey,
  2. bailey bridge,
  3. bailey, liberty hyde,
  4. bailie,
  5. bailiff,
  6. baillie,
  7. bailment,
  8. bailor,
  9. bailout,
  10. bailsman

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