noun (1)
\ ˈrēv How to pronounce reeve (audio) \

Definition of reeve

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a local administrative agent of an Anglo-Saxon king
2 : a medieval English manor officer responsible chiefly for overseeing the discharge of feudal obligations
3a : the council president in some Canadian municipalities
b : a local official charged with enforcement of specific regulations deer reeve


rove\ ˈrōv How to pronounce reeve (audio) \ or reeved; reeving

Definition of reeve (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to pass (something, such as a rope) through a hole or opening
2 : to fasten by passing through a hole or around something
3 : to pass a rope through

intransitive verb

of a rope : to pass through a block or similar device


noun (2)

Definition of reeve (Entry 3 of 3)

: the female of the ruff (sandpiper)

First Known Use of reeve

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1600, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (2)

1610, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for reeve

Noun (1)

Middle English reve, from Old English gerēfa, from ge- (associative prefix) + -rēfa (akin to Old English -rōf number, Old High German ruova) — more at co-


origin unknown

Noun (2)

origin unknown

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The first known use of reeve was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Reeve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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