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

Rock Island County sheriff’s officials said dozens of people were sitting near the tree at the time., "Americans celebrate nation’s birthday, lament divisions," 4 July 2018 Cogen said the sheriff’s office has clear policies on employees campaigning and that they were recently circulated in a memo. Ian Duncan,, "Baltimore Sheriff asks state prosecutor to investigate photos of campaign signs in patrol car," 15 June 2018 The sheriff’s deputies didn’t arrive until the next morning. Otis R. Taylor Jr., San Francisco Chronicle, "To bank, it’s a debt cleared up; to woman, it’s a home lost," 7 June 2018 That year, the sheriff’s office promoted him from detention to patrol, his troubles apparently behind him. Brian Chasnoff, San Antonio Express-News, "‘Pattern of behavior’ cited in arrested deputy," 6 June 2018 Westlake does not face charges in the incident, but the sheriff's office is continuing to investigate. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Uber driver fatally shoots man in 'classic stand your ground case,' Florida sheriff says," 2 Oct. 2018 But the sheriff said that, legally, Drejka’s history isn’t relevant to the July 19 shooting. German Lopez, Vox, "Florida man who killed black man in parking lot charged with manslaughter," 13 Aug. 2018 The 76-year-old man's wife called the sheriff's department around 6:20 p.m. May 30, saying someone had forcibly entered their home and an altercation had begun between the elderly homeowner and the younger man. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The man who died during an altercation in a Wales home burglary has been identified," 12 July 2018 The notes aren’t particularly convincing, said sheriff's department Sgt. Julia Sclafani, sacbee, "Despite Chinese markings, fake $100 bills cause a scene at El Dorado Hills intersection," 9 July 2018

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

7 May 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

Comments on sheriff

What made you want to look up sheriff? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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