bailiwick

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noun bai·li·wick \ˈbā-li-ˌwik, -lē-\

Definition of bailiwick

  1. 1 :  the office or jurisdiction of a bailiff

  2. 2 :  a special domain

Examples of bailiwick in a sentence

  1. <questions about organization of the fund drive are my bailiwick>

Did You Know?

The first half of the word bailiwick comes from the Middle English word for "bailiff," in this case a term referring to a sheriff or chief officer of a town in medieval England, not the officer who assists today in U.S. courtrooms. Bailiff derives via Anglo-French from the Latin bajulare, meaning "to carry a burden." The second half of "bailiwick" comes from "wik," a Middle English word for "dwelling place" or "village," which ultimately derived from the Latin vicus, meaning "village." (This root also gave us "-wich" and "-wick," suffixes used in place names like Norwich and Warwick.) Although "bailiwick" dates from the 15th century, the "special domain" sense did not begin to appear in English until the middle of the 19th century.

Origin and Etymology of bailiwick

Middle English baillifwik, from baillif + wik dwelling place, village, from Old English wīc, from Latin vicus village — more at vicinity


First Known Use: 15th century



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