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sheriff

[sher-if] /ˈʃɛr ɪf/
noun
1.
the law-enforcement officer of a county or other civil subdivision of a state.
2.
(formerly) an important civil officer in an English shire.
Origin
1050
before 1050; Middle English sher(r)ef, Old English scīrgerēfa. See shire, reeve1
Related forms
sheriffdom
[sher-if-duh m] /ˈʃɛr ɪf dəm/ (Show IPA),
noun
subsheriff, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for she riff

sheriff

/ˈʃɛrɪf/
noun
1.
(in the US) the chief law-enforcement officer in a county: popularly elected, except in Rhode Island
2.
(in England and Wales) the chief executive officer of the Crown in a county, having chiefly ceremonial duties related adjective shrieval
3.
(in Scotland) a judge in any of the sheriff courts
4.
(in Australia) an administrative officer of the Supreme Court, who enforces judgments and the execution of writs, empanels juries, etc
5.
(in New Zealand) an officer of the High Court
Derived Forms
sheriffdom, noun
Word Origin
Old English scīrgerēfa, from scīrshire1 + gerēfareeve1
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 she riff

sheriff

n.

late Old English scirgerefa "representative of royal authority in a shire," from scir (see shire) + gerefa "chief, official, reeve" (see reeve). As an American county official, attested from 1660s; sheriff's sale first recorded 1798. Sheriff's tooth (late 14c.) was a common name for the annual tax levied to pay for the sheriff's victuals during court sessions.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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