sheriff

noun

sher·​iff ˈsher-əf How to pronounce sheriff (audio)
: an important official of a shire or county charged primarily with judicial duties (such as executing the processes and orders of courts and judges)
sheriffdom noun

Examples of sheriff in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web At the end of 2022, Brewer released a survey about weed shops in her district, asking the sheriff’s office and the O.C.M. for better enforcement. Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, 19 Feb. 2024 Officials with the sheriff's office said the mauling was believed to have occurred around 7:30 or 8 p.m. Thursday. Sarah Rumpf-Whitten, Fox News, 18 Feb. 2024 According to the sheriff’s office, the man had assaulted the rightful driver of the vehicle shortly before being seen driving it. Julia Daye, Sacramento Bee, 16 Feb. 2024 Could all those cops, sheriff’s deputies, highway patrol officers, FBI agents, etc., have been deployed differently? Mike Hendricks, Kansas City Star, 16 Feb. 2024 The sheriff’s office is asking anyone with information to call Ada County Dispatch at (208) 377-6790 or email Detective Neil Daigle at ndaigle@adacounty.id.gov. Sally Krutzig, Idaho Statesman, 15 Feb. 2024 The operation is still a search, the sheriff said. Meigs County is in southern Tennessee, about 50 miles northeast of Chattanooga. Olivia Lloyd, Charlotte Observer, 15 Feb. 2024 Two men who ventured out of bounds at California ski areas had to be rescued last weekend, one of them after spending a night in the wilderness, sheriff’s offices reported. Bay Area News Group, The Mercury News, 13 Feb. 2024 After the 2020 wreck, reporting by The Times showed that several sheriff’s deputies and firefighters had shared graphic images of the crash scene and the victims’ remains. Rebecca Ellis, Los Angeles Times, 7 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sheriff.' 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 shirreve, from Old English scīrgerēfa, from scīr shire + gerēfa reeve — more at shire, reeve

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sheriff was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near sheriff

Cite this Entry

“Sheriff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sheriff. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

sheriff

noun
sher·​iff ˈsher-əf How to pronounce sheriff (audio)
: an official of a county who is in charge of enforcing the law
Etymology

Middle English shirreve "sheriff," from Old English scīrgerēfa "sheriff," from scīr "shire, county" and gerēfa "a government agent"

Legal Definition

sheriff

noun
sher·​iff
: an official of a county or parish charged primarily with judicial duties (as executing the processes and orders of courts and judges)
Etymology

Old English scīrgerēfa, from scīr shire + gerēfa reeve (king's agent)

More from Merriam-Webster on sheriff

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