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reeve

1
[ reev ]
/ riv /
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See synonyms for: reeve / rove on Thesaurus.com

Definition of reeve

noun Government.
an administrative officer of a town or district.
British. an overseer or superintendent of workers, tenants, or an estate.
British. (formerly) a person of high rank representing the crown.
Canadian. the presiding officer of a village or town council.
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Origin of reeve

1
First recorded before 900; Middle English (i)reve, refe, reive “royal administrative or judicial officer,” Old English gerēfa “high royal offiicial, fiscal officer, prefect”; further origin uncertain; cf. sheriff

Other definitions for reeve (2 of 3)

reeve2
[ reev ]
/ riv /

verb (used with object), rove or reeved, ro·ven or reeved, reev·ing.Nautical.
to pass (a rope or the like) through a hole, ring, or the like.
to fasten by placing through or around something.
to pass a rope through (the swallow of a block).

Origin of reeve

2
First recorded in 1600–10; of uncertain origin; perhaps from Dutch reven “to reef”; see reef2

Other definitions for reeve (3 of 3)

reeve3
[ reev ]
/ riv /

noun
the female of the ruff, Philomachus pugnax.
Also called ree .

Origin of reeve

3
First recorded in 1625–35; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use reeve in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for reeve (1 of 3)

reeve1
/ (riːv) /

noun
English history the local representative of the king in a shire (under the ealdorman) until the early 11th centuryCompare sheriff
(in medieval England) a manorial steward who supervised the daily affairs of the manor: often a villein elected by his fellows
canadian government (in certain provinces) a president of a local council, esp in a rural area
(formerly) a minor local official in any of several parts of England and the US

Word Origin for reeve

Old English gerēva; related to Old High German ruova number, array

British Dictionary definitions for reeve (2 of 3)

reeve2
/ (riːv) /

verb reeves, reeving, reeved or rove (rəʊv) (tr) nautical
to pass (a rope or cable) through an eye or other narrow opening
to fasten by passing through or around something

Word Origin for reeve

C17: perhaps from Dutch rēven reef ²

British Dictionary definitions for reeve (3 of 3)

reeve3
/ (riːv) /

noun
the female of the ruff (the bird)

Word Origin for reeve

C17: of uncertain origin
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
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