sher·​iff | \ ˈsher-əf How to pronounce sheriff (audio) \

Definition of sheriff

: an important official of a shire or county charged primarily with judicial duties (such as executing the processes and orders of courts and judges)

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Other Words from sheriff

sheriffdom \ ˈsher-​əf-​dəm How to pronounce sheriffdom (audio) , -​təm \ noun

Examples of sheriff in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The county jail in Huntsville houses inmates arrested by the Madison County sheriff’s office, Huntsville Police Department, Madison Police Department and other agencies within the county. Ashley Remkus |, al, "Madison County jailer tests positive for COVID-19," 2 July 2020 The attack set off a week-long manhunt that ended June 6 in Ben Lomond, where Santa Cruz County sheriff’s deputies received a call about a suspicious white van abandoned off Jamison Creek Road. Alejandro Serrano,, "Air Force sergeant pleads not guilty to murdering federal security guard in Oakland," 2 July 2020 The woman heard a man yelling for help about 4:40 a.m. near a lake behind her house on Fountain Head Court in the Waldorf area, the county sheriff’s office said. Washington Post, "Local Digest: Two men killed in shootings in Northeast and Southeast D.C.," 1 July 2020 The sheriff’s office took no action after the girl declined to cooperate. Christine Brennan, USA TODAY, "Investigation reopened involving Olympic figure skater and sexual abuse allegation," 30 June 2020 The victim’s brother drove him to a standalone emergency room near the East Sam Houston Parkway North near West Lake Houston Parkway around 11:50 p.m., according to Harris County sheriff’s deputies. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Man shot in head dies after brother rushes him to ER, police say," 29 June 2020 The sheriff’s department presented its case to prosecutors on Monday. James Queally, Los Angeles Times, "Prosecutors have received at least 25 new allegations against adult film star Ron Jeremy," 26 June 2020 The sheriff’s department is asking that those with information regarding this incident to contact the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations and Identification at 1-855-BCI-OHIO (1-855-224-6446). Cory Shaffer, cleveland, "Ohio BCI, sheriff’s department investigating after protester shot with bean bag round lost eye," 23 June 2020 The sheriff’s office reported that between May 2019 and June 2020, no detainers were placed on people with only Class C charges. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "Controversial immigration enforcement agreement with ICE extended in Tarrant County," 17 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sheriff.' 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 sheriff

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sheriff

Middle English shirreve, from Old English scīrgerēfa, from scīr shire + gerēfa reeve — more at shire, reeve

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Time Traveler for sheriff

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for sheriff

Last Updated

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sheriff.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for sheriff


How to pronounce sheriff (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sheriff

: an elected official who is in charge of enforcing the law in a county or town of the U.S.
British : the highest official in a county or shire in England or Wales who represents the king or queen and who attends ceremonies and has legal duties
: the most important judge in a county or district in Scotland


sher·​iff | \ ˈsher-əf How to pronounce sheriff (audio) \

Kids Definition of sheriff

: the officer of a county who is in charge of enforcing the law



Legal Definition of sheriff

: an official of a county or parish charged primarily with judicial duties (as executing the processes and orders of courts and judges)

History and Etymology for sheriff

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on sheriff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sheriff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sheriff

Spanish Central: Translation of sheriff

Nglish: Translation of sheriff for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about sheriff

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