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.

1250–1300; Middle English baillif < Old French, equivalent to bail custody (see bail1) + -if -ive

bailiffship, noun
subbailiff, noun
underbailiff, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To bailiff
World English Dictionary
bailiff (ˈbeɪlɪf)
1.  (Brit) the agent or steward of a landlord or landowner
2.  a sheriff's officer who serves writs and summonses, makes arrests, and ensures that the sentences of the court are carried out
3.  chiefly (Brit) (formerly) a high official having judicial powers
4.  chiefly (US) an official having custody of prisoners appearing in court
[C13: from Old French baillif, from bail custody; see bail1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

mid-13c., from O.Fr. baillif (12c., nom. baillis) "administrative official, deputy," from V.L. *bajulivus "official in charge of a castle," from L. bajulus "porter." Used in M.E. 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
Cite This Source
Example sentences
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.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature