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 bailiffship (audio) \ noun

Examples of bailiff in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The bailiff didn’t hear the fowl the first day, according to court documents. Adam Nossiter,, "‘The rooster must be defended’: France’s culture clash reaches a coop," 23 June 2019 The bailiff didn’t hear the fowl the first day, according to court documents. Adam Nossiter, New York Times, "‘The Rooster Must Be Defended’: France’s Culture Clash Reaches a Coop," 23 June 2019 The bailiff made her take the baby out to her husband in the hallway, and the judge allegedly berated the mom and threatened to send her daughter away to Child Protective Services. Julie Mazziotta,, "Here’s Where You Can — and Can’t — Legally Breastfeed in the U.S.," 13 June 2019 That year in Wyoming also saw the country’s first all-female jury, and the first woman bailiff in the world, Martha Symon Boies. Jennifer Billock, Smithsonian, "Women Have Been Voting in Wyoming for 150 Years, and Here Is How the State is Celebrating," 7 June 2019 Navalny said the formal reason for barring him from leaving Russia was a bailiffs ruling, dated Friday to collect 2.1 million rubles ($31,000) from him in damages in a civil lawsuit against a timber company. Nataliya Vasilyeva, The Seattle Times, "Russian opposition leader Navalny barred from leaving Russia," 13 Nov. 2018 Nevertheless, Samples attended and graduated from the University of Akron before working as a paralegal and bailiff. Seth A. Richardson,, "Dennis Kucinich chooses Akron city councilwoman as running mate," 19 Jan. 2018 DeAngelo stood stone-faced and ramrod straight in a courtroom cage, never looking at the courtroom packed with survivors, relatives, reporters and at least a half-dozen armed bailiffs. Fox News, "Golden State Killer suspect faces consolidated charges," 23 Aug. 2018 He was stopped by border guards and told that a ruling by court bailiffs over an unpaid fine had barred him from leaving Russia. Nataliya Vasilyeva, The Seattle Times, "Russian opposition leader Navalny barred from leaving Russia," 13 Nov. 2018

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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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on bailiff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bailiff

Spanish Central: Translation of bailiff

Nglish: Translation of bailiff for Spanish Speakers

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

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