- the law-enforcement officer of a county or other civil subdivision of a state.
- (formerly) an important civil officer in an English shire.
Origin of sheriff
Examples from the Web for sheriff
The sheriff charged them with truancy, and then he and his officers ran them out of town.Dr. King Goes to Hollywood: The Flawed History of ‘Selma’
January 2, 2015
In turn, he told the sheriff he had experimented with gay sex in college.Exposed: The Gay-Bashing Pastor’s Same-Sex Assault
December 21, 2014
According to the sheriff, 18-year-old Levi Weaver begged the officer to shoot him, and then leapt at him.The 14 Teens Killed by Cops Since Michael Brown
November 25, 2014
Even her brother, Sheriff, who tried to pick her up to cuddle her, was pushed away with a firm “no” and a shriek.The Life of a Liberian Child with Ebola
November 5, 2014
Ingram trusted law enforcement, not least because he was a sheriff himself.The Myth of the Central Park Five
October 19, 2014
I am under the sheriff's orders, and not under the orders of that officer.
You can tell all this to the colonel or the sheriff; if they let you go, I'll say nothing against it.
Aleck looked at the driver, then at the Sheriff, and then at my father.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
I was wanted at Johnstown by Sheriff Frey, on some matter which would not wait for the morrow.
"He is as close as the bark on a beech-tree," concluded the sheriff.
- (in the US) the chief law-enforcement officer in a county: popularly elected, except in Rhode Island
- (in England and Wales) the chief executive officer of the Crown in a county, having chiefly ceremonial dutiesRelated adjective: shrieval
- (in Scotland) a judge in any of the sheriff courts
- (in Australia) an administrative officer of the Supreme Court, who enforces judgments and the execution of writs, empanels juries, etc
- (in New Zealand) an officer of the High Court
Word Origin and History for sheriff
late Old English scirgerefa "representative of royal authority in a shire," from scir (see shire) + gerefa "chief, official, reeve" (see reeve). As an American county official, attested from 1660s; sheriff's sale first recorded 1798. Sheriff's tooth (late 14c.) was a common name for the annual tax levied to pay for the sheriff's victuals during court sessions.