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 analysis of county property transfer records includes single-family homes only, excluding both condos and duplexes, as well as sheriff’s deed transactions. Rich Exner,, "Suburban median home price in Cuyahoga County jumps sharply up in June," 13 July 2019 About 60 came from small breeders or private owners, including some, Nimmo said, retrieved after local sheriffs called fretting about tigers in their midst., "The trouble with tigers in America," 13 July 2019 Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy Jason Pasero fired several shots at Koffi, striking him three times, authorities said. Ashley Mcbride,, "SF tech worker charged with attempted murder in alleged drug-induced rampage," 12 July 2019 On July 12, 1917, an army of vigilantes led by local sheriffs and representatives of the mine dragged more than a thousand strikers from their homes, forced them into cattle cars, and transported them to the middle of a desert in New Mexico. Peter Keough,, "Doc Talk: From an injustice in Georgia to a plea for bees," 11 July 2019 The toddler’s mother, Kimberly Dawn Moore, 45, and her boyfriend, Adrian Neil Puckett, also 45, were arrested and charged with felony child neglect with reckless disregard for life and felony child endangerment, the sheriff’s office says. Kc Baker,, "3-Year-Old Va. Girl Is Found Dead in River — and Mom and Her Boyfriend Are Charged," 11 July 2019 Harford County is already below the national three-year recidivism rate, which is 48 percent, but sheriff’s officials believe these efforts can lower that number even more. Erika Butler,, "Harford sheriff announces THRIVE initiative to help reduce number of inmates returning to jail," 11 July 2019 The man was last seen at a gas station July 3 and was likely killed while working on his car the following day, Nye County, Nevada, sheriff’s Sgt. Phil Helsel, NBC News, "Earthquake may be to blame for death of man found pinned under car, Nevada officials say," 10 July 2019 The Wisconsin State Patrol and Polk County sheriff’s office will investigate. Jaime Delage, Twin Cities, "Motorcyclist struck and killed by fleeing driver in St. Croix County," 6 July 2019

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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Statistics for sheriff

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for sheriff

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

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More Definitions for sheriff



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

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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