bailiff

noun

bai·​liff ˈbā-ləf How to pronounce bailiff (audio)
1
a
: 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
bailiffship noun

Examples of bailiff in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Judge Sheindlin is joined in the courtroom by law clerk Sarah Rose, court stenographer Whitney Kumar and bailiff Kevin Rasco. Michael Schneider, Variety, 24 Jan. 2024 The bailiffs, who appeared to have acted on instruction from the Sulu claimants, were turned away. Andreo Calonzo, Bloomberg.com, 13 Apr. 2023 Moll’s Bull Shannon is a profoundly simple, six-foot, eight-inch-tall bailiff given to pithy scowls. Gail Williams, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Jan. 2024 The courtroom was so tight that other defendants scheduled to appear for arraignments that morning were asked by bailiffs to wait outside while Momeni’s high-profile hearing took place. Albert Samaha, Rolling Stone, 22 Oct. 2023 Montalvo was then escorted out of the courtroom by a bailiff. Lana Ferguson, Dallas News, 14 Sep. 2023 Esmaeel was working as a courthouse bailiff for the sheriff’s department and joined the agency a little over three years ago, Scott said. James Queally, Los Angeles Times, 14 Oct. 2023 At the Manhattan Municipal Criminal Court, his character sweetly bonded with female bailiffs Selma Hacker (Selma Diamond, who died between seasons two and three), Flo Kleiner (Florence Halop, who died between seasons three and four) and Roz Russell (Marsha Warfield). Mike Barnes, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Oct. 2023 His character formed a close friendship with the court's other bailiff, Roz Russell, played by Marsha Warfield. CBS News, 27 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bailiff.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near bailiff

Cite this Entry

“Bailiff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bailiff. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

bailiff

noun
bai·​liff ˈbā-ləf How to pronounce bailiff (audio)
1
: any of various officials
especially : a minor officer of some U.S. courts usually serving as a messenger or doorkeeper
2
chiefly British : one who manages an estate or farm

Legal Definition

bailiff

noun
bai·​liff ˈbā-ləf How to pronounce bailiff (audio)
: 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
Etymology

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

More from Merriam-Webster on bailiff

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