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bailiff

[bey-lif] /ˈbeɪ lɪf/
noun
1.
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.
2.
(in Britain) a person charged with local administrative authority, or the chief magistrate in certain towns.
3.
(especially in Britain) an overseer of a landed estate or farm.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English baillif < Old French, equivalent to bail custody (see bail1) + -if -ive
Related forms
bailiffship, noun
subbailiff, noun
underbailiff, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for bailiff ship

bailiff

/ˈbeɪlɪf/
noun
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.
(mainly Brit) (formerly) a high official having judicial powers
4.
(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
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Word Origin and History for bailiff ship

bailiff

n.

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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