bai·​liff | \ ˈbā-ləf How to pronounce bailiff (audio) \

Definition of bailiff

1a : an official employed by a British sheriff to serve writs and make arrests and executions
b : a minor officer of some U.S. courts usually serving as a messenger or usher
2 chiefly British : one who manages an estate or farm

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Other Words from bailiff

bailiffship \ ˈbā-​ləf-​ˌship How to pronounce bailiff (audio) \ noun

Examples of bailiff in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web His pride was shared by Faviola Cheeks, deputy jury bailiff. Elizabeth Zavala, San Antonio Express-News, 1 June 2021 Zilber sent his bailiff to register his car with the state highway safety department and motor vehicles, as well as to pick up tickets for an art fair. Fox News, 18 May 2021 Zilber accepted the discipline, including a public reprimand, a 60-day suspension without pay and a $30,000 fine, as well as additional training and letters of apology to his current and former judicial assistant and bailiff. David Williams, CNN, 18 May 2021 Ray, a Wadsworth Republican, is a former Medina County commissioner and Wadsworth Municipal Court bailiff. cleveland, 4 May 2021 Among the early settlers was Rev. Barney Stone, a former slave and Civil War Union Army veteran from Kentucky who became a circuit court bailiff and minster at the First Baptist Church. John Tuohy, The Indianapolis Star, 6 Apr. 2021 Allen's bailiff, Cindy Longano, said the courtroom received about 10 calls before Wright's lawyer asked Wright's social media followers to stop. Cameron Knight, The Enquirer, 19 Mar. 2021 The bailiff said his fans have now begun to send letters. Cameron Knight, The Enquirer, 19 Mar. 2021 After his retirement from the Fire Marshal’s Office, Kaufman was a bailiff for Carroll County Circuit Court for more than 12 years. Kevin Dayhoff,, 6 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bailiff.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bailiff

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for bailiff

Middle English baillif, bailie, from Anglo-French baillif, from bail power, authority, office, from baillier to govern, administer, from Medieval Latin bajulare to care for, support, from Latin, to carry a burden — more at bail entry 3

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Time Traveler for bailiff

Time Traveler

The first known use of bailiff was in the 14th century

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Statistics for bailiff

Last Updated

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bailiff.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for bailiff



English Language Learners Definition of bailiff

US : an officer in a court of law who helps the judge control the people in the courtroom
British : someone hired by a sheriff to bring legal documents to people and to take away possessions when people cannot pay for them
British : someone who manages the land and property of another person


bai·​liff | \ ˈbā-ləf How to pronounce bailiff (audio) \

Legal Definition of bailiff

: an officer of some courts in the U.S. whose duties usually include keeping order in the courtroom and guarding prisoners or jurors in deliberation

History and Etymology for bailiff

Anglo-French, steward, king's official, from bail stewardship, custody, handing over — see bail

More from Merriam-Webster on bailiff

Nglish: Translation of bailiff for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bailiff for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about bailiff


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