[ sher-if ]
/ ˈʃɛr ɪf /


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

before 1050; Middle English sher(r)ef,Old English scīrgerēfa.See shire, reeve1


sher·iff·dom [sher-if-duhm], /ˈʃɛr ɪf dəm/, nounsub·sher·iff, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for sheriff

British Dictionary definitions for sheriff

/ (ˈʃɛrɪf) /


(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

Derived forms of sheriff

sheriffdom, noun

Word Origin for sheriff

Old English scīrgerēfa, from scīr shire 1 + gerēfa reeve 1
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