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

Orange County sheriff’s spokeswoman Carrie Braun said the credentials were not legitimate but the pilot was indeed Pastini. John Antczak, The Seattle Times, "Police: Pilot in fatal California crash had fake records," 6 Feb. 2019 Brice Turner, 33, of Woodstock, was arrested Wednesday night on charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and crossing guard lines with drugs, Cherokee County sheriff’s Sgt. Raisa Habersham, ajc, "Cherokee County inmate dies hours after arrest," 13 July 2018 That's when two married off-duty Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies, Alex and Wanda Valiente, came upon the couple. Fox News, "Living with fear: Vegas shooting survivor, wife march on," 27 Sep. 2018 Helus, a 29-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, was one of the first officers at the scene; he was shot multiple times and died in the hospital from his injuries. Jennifer Williams, Vox, "A suspect killed 12 people at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California.," 8 Nov. 2018 Two volunteers with the sheriff’s office reportedly stayed with him overnight while waiting for additional help. Jameelah Nasheed, Teen Vogue, "A Teen Boy Scout Died While Rock Climbing on a Camping Trip in Oregon," 15 Oct. 2018 Michael Trevino as Kyle Valenti: The town sheriff's son who soon comes to terms with his family's bitter past. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Everything We Know About "Roswell, New Mexico"," 12 Dec. 2018 The storm moved through Watford City, in the northwestern part of the state, shortly after midnight, hitting an RV park the hardest, according to sheriff's officials. CBS News, "Newborn baby killed, dozens injured when tornado strikes North Dakota city," 11 July 2018 According to one sheriff's office, though, The Weather Channel personality's presence in the area is not welcome. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore 'Banned' From One Florida County Ahead of Hurricane Michael," 9 Oct. 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

12 Feb 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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