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Word of the Day
Saturday, December 01, 2018

Definitions for shrievalty

  1. the office, term, or jurisdiction of a sheriff.

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Citations for shrievalty
You must give up your shrievalty immediately and I will get the Shire Court to appoint a caretaker sheriff in your place until the will of the King is known. Bernard Knight, Witch Hunter, 2004
Judges, small magistrates, officers large and small, the shrievalty, the water office, the tax office, all were to come within its purview. Theodore Dreiser, The Titan, 1914
Origin of shrievalty
1495-1505
Shrievalty, “the office, term, or jurisdiction of a sheriff,” is a rare word. Shrieve is one of many, many spelling variants of the Late Middle English compound noun shire-reeve. A shire is “the office of administration, jurisdiction of an office or county,” and a reeve is “a high official in charge of an administrative district.” Sheriff is an ordinary outcome of shire-reeve. The suffix -alty is taken from such political and legal terms as mayoralty (from mayoral and the suffix -ty, from Old French -tet, ultimately from Latin -tās, a suffix for forming abstract nouns from adjectives). The equally rare but more transparent noun sheriffalty was also formed from sheriff and -alty. Shrievalty entered English in the 16th century.