9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[bey-lif] /ˈbeɪ lɪf/
an officer, similar to a sheriff or a sheriff's deputy, employed to execute writs and processes, make arrests, keep order in the court, etc.
(in Britain) a person charged with local administrative authority, or the chief magistrate in certain towns.
(especially in Britain) an overseer of a landed estate or farm.
Origin of bailiff
1250-1300; Middle English baillif < Old French, equivalent to bail custody (see bail1) + -if -ive
Related forms
bailiffship, noun
subbailiff, noun
underbailiff, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for bailiff
  • Fifteen minutes later, a bailiff appeared at the door.
  • Farmers faced with bank repossession-he was one-warded off the bailiff by going on hunger strike.
  • To schedule a hearing, please contact the bailiff directly.
  • Contact the bailiff and advise the bailiff of the dispute and the number where you can be reached.
  • The bailiff testified that the jury foreman came to the door and told her that they were finished deliberating.
  • Please notify the bailiff by email to strike a motion.
  • If a case is in progress, attorneys should quietly wait for the bailiff or law clerk to approach.
  • Requests for hearing dates are accepted by email sent to the bailiff.
  • Please call or e-mail the bailiff immediately if a case settles or a motion needs to be stricken from the court's calendar.
  • The bailiff did not recall making a statement that the jurors were stuck with him.
British Dictionary definitions for bailiff


(Brit) the agent or steward of a landlord or landowner
a sheriff's officer who serves writs and summonses, makes arrests, and ensures that the sentences of the court are carried out
(mainly Brit) (formerly) a high official having judicial powers
(mainly US) an official having custody of prisoners appearing in court
Word Origin
C13: from Old French baillif, from bail custody; see bail1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bailiff

mid-13c., from Old French baillif (12c., nominative baillis) "administrative official, deputy," from Vulgar Latin *bajulivus "official in charge of a castle," from Latin bajulus "porter," of unknown origin. Used in Middle English of a public administrator of a district, a chief officer of a Hundred, or an officer under a sheriff.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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